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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Leadership organizations team up to provide gifts for local children

Photo by Photo by: Jena Floyd

As part of the Angel Tree program, the Salvation Army creates individual cards that include the names, clothing sizes and wish lists of local children. MSC ALOT and MSC LEAD have helped over 1,000 children receive gifts through the program.

At least 1,000 local children in need will have presents under the tree this holiday season thanks to students at Texas A&M.
Freshman leadership organization Memorial Student Center Aggie Leaders of Tomorrow, MSC ALOT, has teamed up with sophomore leadership organization MSC LEAD to help families in need this winter through the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program.
Rachel Fair, MSC ALOT Angel Tree executive and kinesiology junior, said the Salvation Army creates individual cards that include the names, clothing sizes and wish lists of less fortunate children. Organizations in different areas then volunteer to help “adopt out” the children to anyone who would like to buy their list of Christmas gifts for them.
“We adopt the angels out and then get members of the community to then buy these gifts for these kids,” Fairs said. “Then the Salvation Army distributes them to those families and to those children.”
Fair said the program began on Nov. 9 and has since surpassed its goal and secured presents for 1,105 “angels.” She said the adoption phase ended earlier than expected on Nov. 23 because so many children were adopted.
“We are ecstatic but we still have that many gifts to get back,” Fair said. “There will still be drop off dates in the MSC room 2404 on Dec. 1 and Dec. 8.”
Lt. Michelle Walker, administrator and pastor of the Salvation Army in Bryan-College Station, said around 700 families will receive help from Angel Tree this year. She said the MSC organizations have adopted almost half of the 2,200 to 2,300 kids involved with the program this year.
“It’s a lot of kids,” Walker said. “And that’s why MSC at A&M is so important, because they’ve taken a lot of angels.”
Austin Tung, director of the MSC LEAD Campus Impact subcommittee and petroleum engineering senior, said MSC LEAD became involved to help split up the efforts with MSC ALOT, as well as to exhibit A&M’s core value of selfless service.
“Personally, it’s a really humbling experience because I know for sure sometimes I take for granted a lot of the things that I have,” Tung said. “It’s kind of like a reminder to everyone here that we are privileged — we’re lucky to be where we are.”
Walker said the point of the program is to meet the needs of the community, especially around Christmas time when electric bills can go up and parents have other financial strains.  
“There’s just a lot of things that happen during Christmas time, so the Salvation Army just feels like there’s a need to help the community and the children in the community — to basically support them during this time by helping the parents get gifts for their children,” Walker said.
Walker said the Salvation Army doesn’t accept any used gifts for the Angel Tree program.
“A lot of these children don’t get anything throughout the year, and I wouldn’t want my children having used gifts under the tree, so I don’t feel like anybody else should either,” Walker said.
Fair said she’s happy to help the community, since Bryan and College Station give so much to the Aggie family.
“I love knowing that I made a difference — even with one child’s life,” Fair said. “I was talking to my subcommittee and I said that our goal is 900, but even if we can get one angel adopted I would consider that a success because one child’s Christmas is now better because of us.”

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