Angel Tree Begins with Holiday Season

The+sponsor+of+UNICEF%2C+Pamela+Arrington+organizes+events+with+student+members+on+December+1+at+the+Argyle+High+School.+UNICEF+stands+for+United+Nations+Childrens+Education+Fund.+%E2%80%9CUNICEF+is+primarily+used+to+help+children+in+need+who+are+impoverished+and+need+any+help+that+they+can+get%2C%E2%80%9D+Daggett+said.+%E2%80%9CWhat+we+do+for+UNICEF+is+to+raise+money+and+help+improve+living+conditions+not+only+for+children+around+the+world+but+for+children+in+the+local+community.%E2%80%9D

©The Talon News | Cate Clark

The sponsor of UNICEF, Pamela Arrington organizes events with student members on December 1 at the Argyle High School. UNICEF stands for United Nations Children’s Education Fund. “UNICEF is primarily used to help children in need who are impoverished and need any help that they can get,” Daggett said. “What we do for UNICEF is to raise money and help improve living conditions not only for children around the world but for children in the local community.”

Sara Daniel and Sloan Dial

 

The Christmas season is one of utmost importance and joy to people around the world, especially for those who eagerly await Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. However, some kids are unable to receive presents for Christmas for reasons such as financial struggles. While this is widespread, local Argyle residents are also affected. To solve this problem, the Angel Tree program was created.

“Angel Tree is a program that set out to benefit students here in Argyle that are in financial need,” UNICEF sponsor Pamela Arrington said. “These are students that would not typically be getting presents during Christmas.”

The Angel Tree program did not originate in Argyle. It was created by the Salvation Army in 1979 by Majors Charles and Shirley White. The group worked with a local Virginia shopping mall to spread the idea and receive donations. Since then, the Angel Tree program has spread like wildfire to places across the United States, including Argyle.

“The program was first established in Argyle by the Argyle Community Civic League over twenty years ago,” Arrington explained. “It started off small and has continued to grow every single year.”

However, about 13 years ago, the program started to cease in Argyle until Arrington and another group of ladies took action.

“There were several of us ladies that decided we wanted to join together and continue promoting the Angel Tree program,” Arrington said. “We did not want to see these children go without presents over the holidays.”

The group agreed to form a small committee to organize and advocate the Angel Tree program to the citizens and those in need in Argyle and were met with massive success from both ends of the program.

“Not only has Angel Tree grown out in the number of children who we were supporting,” Arrington stated. “But also in the number of volunteers that we have in the community.”

Their huge achievements with the program mainly come from how easy it is for volunteers to contribute to the cause.

“The program allows the community members here in Argyle to adopt a tag off our Angel Tree,” Arrington explained. “A student here in Argyle ISD in need of presents is given three different tags, and those tags will consist of their needs for Christmas. Those three tags are then adopted by volunteers, who purchase the items on the tags. We are then able to take those items and donate them to the children in need. The parents will pick up the unwrapped items, bring them home, wrap them, and then place them under the Christmas tree.”

Over the years, Arrington has also involved the Argyle High School UNICEF Club in the Angel Tree program, invoking much more volunteers and overall success in the program.

“The UNICEF Club’s mission is to help support children all over the world,” Arrington said. “and what better way to help by supporting the children here in our school district?”

The UNICEF club assists in many ways to help out the program. Some adopt some of the tags on the Angel Tree and go shopping for the items to donate while others help organize the gifts for pickup by the parents.

“The club is a huge help in the Angel Tree program,” Arrington stated. “Most of everything we are able to accomplish is because of their help.”

While the Angel Tree program has massively affected those on the receiving end of the program, there have been many on the giving side who have been affected as well.

“For more than 13 years, I’ve helped and watched this program grow, and it has definitely changed me for the better,” Arrington said. “It’s allowed me to share what it means to give with my own children at home and has given me the opportunity to get to know these families we are providing for and see how happy we are able to make them in the process.”

©The Talon News | Brady Sanberg

The Angel Tree program is still going strong today, continuing its mission to provide for and help the many children in Argyle who would otherwise be waking up Christmas morning with nothing to celebrate. 

“I know how special the holiday season is for children, and we don’t want any child here at Argyle ISD to not be able to experience that joy,” Arrington stated. “It’s been amazing these past few years to watch the community of Argyle come together first-hand and selflessly give to and support these children and make their Christmas holiday something truly special.”