Santa’s black patent leather belt is tightening around the globe and Harrison County’s Christmas Angel project is also feeling the squeeze.
Harrison County has over 1,400 students on free lunches and that’s just one of the criteria to be included in the project that provides gifts at Christmas time.
According to Judy Feeback, Angel committee member, 425 students have been signed up for Angel gifts. However, she said the committee is considering additional applications in emergency situations.
She said recent layoffs in the community have made it necessary for the committee to review some additional applicants.
“We’re really trying to work with people,” Feeback said, adding that the community has responded well to the need.
“Over half of the angels have already been taken,” she said.
A Christmas tree at the Community Education Center on Webster Avenue, holds the angels that represent boys and girls. The angel will have the clothing sizes of the student as well as two wishes from that particular student.
Feeback said they limited the students to two wishes under $50 this year.
“We are trying to make it affordable to everyone,” she said.
Feeback added that not everyone who wants to help out wants to take on an angel. For those people, she said, there are still ways to give.
New or “gently used” toys can be dropped off at the CEC and they will be distributed where needed. Or, she said, packages of underwear and socks are great to help fill out angel gifts. She also suggested that hats, gloves and scarves are needed.
Gifts, she said, are totally up to the person who has adopted the angel.
“This is a supplemental program,” she said. “It’s not meant to be their entire Christmas.”
Angel gifts should be taken to the CEC by Dec. 1. Those will be collected by parents on Dec. 10 and 11. If angel gifts are ready before Dec. 1, Feeback said they may be dropped off at CEC during regular business hours.
To be eligible for the program, a student must meet the district’s attendance and disciplinary requirements, Feeback said.
Students cannot have more than three unexcused absences and cannot have any out-of-school suspensions.
Other criteria includes no outstanding fees or fines, Harrison County enrollment and up-to-date health records.
Feeback said that if anyone has questions they can call the CEC at 234-7160 asking for Feeback, Monica Mattox or Patti Dacci. Other committee members are Paula Barnett, Vicki Faulkner, Gina Owsley, Linda Sexton and Mary Grubb.