— By BRIAN SMITH
Manna Storehouse is looking for a few “angels” to help some needy children this holiday season.
Sign ups for the annual Santa’s Helpers Angel Tree began Monday and will continue through Nov. 23. Program Coordinator Brenda Arnold, who has volunteered with the program for 10 years, said the program has been going on for at least 20 years or longer.
Volunteer Janice Smith said the Salvation Army previously ran the program with Manna assisting. Now, Manna runs the program with the Salvation Army providing Walmart gift cards for anything needed.
Once a child or family is approved for the Angel Tree program, a claim slip is provided and must be presented to redeem their family’s items. Arnold said about 1,500 applicants looked for assistance last year. Angel Trees are placed in different facilities around the city including banks, stores, the Weatherford Police Department and others.
“Pretty much anywhere that will have one,” Arnold said.
Once the Angel Trees are placed, “angels” will have until Dec. 10 to finish shopping for their person and bring their items to Manna. For those who can’t afford to complete everything on their child’s list, Arnold still encourages people to do what they can and bring it in. Manna will then use donations from other parties to finish the job.
“We will take donations of money, clothing and shoes for our applicants,” Arnold said.
Once the items are collected, volunteers are needed to help organize everything and place it into bags for distribution closer to Christmas. Spanish-peaking volunteers are especially needed, Arnold said. Anyone wishing to volunteer or get more information on Angel Tree can go by Manna Storehouse, 129 E. Spring St., in Weatherford, or call 817-599-6569 or for more information go online to mannastorehouse.org/santa/ or email email@example.com.
“We’re all volunteers here, but anyone willing to put in two or three hours to help out would be appreciated,” Arnold said. “Many of our volunteers are getting older, so we can use some fresh people.”
To apply to be an angel, families must live in Parker County and provide identification, health records, and proof of income. The remaining application dates and times are as follows:
Oct. 30 — 4-6 p.m.
Oct. 31-Nov. 2 — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Nov. 4-8 — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Nov. 20-21 — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Nov. 22 — 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Nov. 23 — noon to 2 p.m.