Good Shepherd still in need of help as angel tree deadline nears

Published 5:58 pm Sunday, December 10, 2017

By Gabrielle Terrett

The Vicksburg Post

Good Shepherd Community Center is in the spirit of giving this Christmas season. As the organization’s annual Christmas Angel Tree Operation winds down, the town has a chance to help all children receive gifts for Christmas this year.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Each year Good Shepherd Community Center comes together with the local Salvation Army to reach out to families in an effort to supply Christmas gifts to the children whose parents cannot do so.

With one week until the deadline to bring gifts to the community center, Good Shepherd has one family with four children waiting to be adopted.

The Good Shepherd Community Center Angel Tree Operation has been going on for more than 30 years and each year the tree acquires more participants.

The Good Shepherd Angel Tree has adopted out more than 300 angels during this year’s Christmas season and more than 100,000 total over the years, according to Rev. Tommy Miller, the executive director of Good Shepherd.

“We screen the names of the children with the Salvation Army’s list of kids to make sure that the they are not on the list,” said Miller. “This year we did not have any children on the Salvation Army and the Good Shepherd list, which is wonderful. But we screen them and people, churches, businesses adopt the children and then provide the toys and clothing for each child.”

Parents sign children up for the program and afterwards the children are screened and sorted out between the two organizations to be sure each child is adopted only once.

The children’s names, ages and Christmas lists are printed and placed onto a tree. The public can then adopt an angel and purchase gifts for the chosen child and return the gifts back to the Good Shepherd Community Center. The gifts are later given to the children just days before Christmas.

“The parents will come on Dec. 21 this year and pick up the gifts at Good Shepherd,” said Miller. “We see a lot of smiles and a lot of tears that day from parents who are thankful that we have been able to help.”

The children can be adopted from the Good Shepherd Community Center at 629 Cherry St. and all gifts should be turned in at the center by Dec. 18.

“This year we’ve got 390 something children and along with the toy drives we have that’ll be about 500 toys,” said Miller. “So that means 500 children will have something under the Christmas tree. Because of the generosity of the people of Vicksburg and Warren County kids will get the opportunity to have a nice Christmas.”

To see the look on a child’s face Christmas morning is priceless, but of course it may take a little to give.

“People spend an average of $80 to $90 per child,” said Miller. “Most buy two or three toys and some clothes just to make their Christmas, Christmas.”

The deadline to turn in all angel gifts for the Good Shepherd Community Center’s Angel Tree is Dec. 18 and all gifts should be submitted to the center. For more information call the Good Shepherd Community Center at 601-636-7687.