Shoals Ruritans to host community angel tree


By Dean Palmer - For The Pilot



SHOALS — The Shoals Ruritan Club will host the 13th annual Shoals Community Angel Tree on Sunday evening from 5-7 p.m. at the Shoals Ruritan Building, located at 3025 Shoals Road.

A holiday evening of food and fellowship is planned with refreshments to be served. Local residents, churches, church groups and Sunday School classes, businesses, civic groups and others are invited to come by and join in, choosing “angels” from the well-stocked tree.

Angels on the tree will come from a confidential list of youths with need from Shoals and surrounding communities, ranging in age from birth through high school.

Participants are encouraged to select an angel from the tree based on age and gender. The selected paper will provide a list of suggested clothing needs, with sizes, as well as other preferred gift ideas.

Those taking an angel will have about three weeks to shop. Wrapped Christmas gifts will then be returned to the Ruritan Building on a determined date, to be provided, and will later be picked up by the receiving family.

Angels on the tree are grouped by family, with participants having the option of selecting one angel or more. Larger groups or organizations often choose an entire family of children for which to buy gifts.

“We want to encourage our local residents to come out, take an angel from the tree, and help brighten Christmas morning for some area child,” said Shoals Ruritan Dale Jessup.

The annual project is organized by the Shoals Ruritan Public Service Committee. According to Jessup, an average of about 100 children is normally represented on the tree and expectations are for a similar number this year.

“The Ruritan Club is a service club,” Jessup noted, “helping to provide for needs in local communities. For us, this is a part of that service and a part of Christmas.”

“We have projects throughout the year,” Jessup continued, “with funds going back into the community to meet needs in various ways.

”We help in cases of fires and economic or medical hardships or when a need is recognized. We also provide the O.W. Hauser Scholarship each year to a student from the Shoals community and we support Shoals Elementary School in a variety of ways. And each year we host our community Independence Day celebration, with hot dogs and fireworks, as a way of giving back.”

Dean Palmer may be reached at 336-351-4131 or dean.palmer8@gmail.com.

By Dean Palmer

For The Pilot

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