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Angel Tree program to assist less fortunate

Angel Tree

As the holidays near, the Lions Club already has more than 110 applications for this year’s Angel Tree program, so it’s time to begin adopting and shopping for the less fortunate children and families in Princeton.

“In a rapidly growing community, the Angel Tree program keeps the Princeton tradition of caring for all our students alive and well,” said Lions Club President Casey Gunnels. “This project is an opportunity for our small-town spirit to shine through even as we continue to grow.”

With applications already being accepted from families, adoption of these angels started Monday through the program, which is in its 14th year.

“This is always a great way to give back to the community,” said Superintendent Donald McIntyre, who serves with the Lions Club. “It is awesome to see the community come together to help so many students.”

The counselors have applications on each Princeton ISD campus, and they will be verified using information from the free- and reduced-meal program, as well as recommendations from counselors regarding new circumstances.

The deadline for applications is Monday, Nov. 29. All Angel applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Angel Tree adoptions continue until Friday, Dec. 3.

“For the past 13 years, we’ve always been able to assist every eligible applicant, and we want that trend to continue,” said Lions Club member Philip Anthony, who has been involved with Angel Tree since its original days as Stuff the Bus. “There’s no other civic organization besides the Lions Club that is set up to help and target the Princeton area exclusively."

For 2020, 620 children from 298 families were adopted through Angel Tree.

“We are estimating we will need to help more than 600 children this year," Mr. Gunnels said.

The community support plays a big role in getting every child adopted. The Princeton Chamber of Commerce and City of Princeton join Peoples Bank and Independent Financial with Angel Trees in those locations.

“We couldn’t do this without the help from the community,” Mr. Gunnels said. “We need everyone to make this happen.”

According to Mr. Anthony, district employees have always done a great job in stepping up for this charitable effort. Many make payroll contributions, and teachers and coaches get the students in their programs to help by donating to the Angel Tree.

Student groups such as soccer, PALs, athletic teams and National Honor Society adopt the Angel Tree program as a community service project, with members bringing toys or clothes or shopping together as a group.

Deliveries to families will begin Wednesday, Dec. 8.

Procedures for adopting an angel include:

- Call 469.952.5400 or e-mail contacts: Amy Ivy or Tiffany Petersen or stop by the PISD Administration Office at 321 Panther Pkwy.

- Guideline: Spend approximately $75 per child.

- Clearly mark all unwrapped presents with the Family and Child number from the adoption form. Donors are asked to use removable labels with the Family and Child number so the items will not have handwriting on them.

- Drop-off deadline is Monday, Dec. 6. The drop-off location for returning unwrapped presents will be determined by Family numbers. Drop-off for Family #101-200 will be at the Auxiliary Services Building. Drop-off for Family #201+ will be at the PISD Administration Building.

- If someone cannot afford to adopt an entire child, pair up to adopt a child.

- Make a monetary donation at any campus, administration office, Peoples Bank or Independent Financial (checks payable to Princeton Lions Club); or

- Sponsor a portion of a child by selecting from the Angel Tree at either Peoples Bank, Independent Financial, the Chamber of Commerce or the City of Princeton. Individual items, including toys or clothing, will be available.