The Shoals Ruritan Club will host its 15th annual Shoals Community Angel Tree on Sunday 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.
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 picked up by the receiving family. Families will also be gifted with a holiday food box donated by the Surry County Sheriff’s Office.
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 community to come out and help brighten Christmas for a child,” said Shoals Ruritan Wallye Jones. “We’ve been working to get the word out about this in our community and by making announcements in our local churches.”
The annual project is organized by the Shoals Ruritan Public Service Committee. According to Jones, an average of almost 100 children is normally represented on the tree and expectations are for a similar number this year.
“This is one of the ways we’re able to give back to our community,” Jones noted. “We enjoy doing whatever we can in our community and during this season, this is a big need for children and their families.”
According to Jones, the club has long been active in its community in a variety of ways. Club members reach out in cases of fires and economic or medical hardships or when a need is recognized. The O.W. Hauser Scholarship is also provided each year to a student from the Shoals community and frequent support is provided for Shoals Elementary School. In one of its most visible activities, each year the club host a Shoals community Independence Day celebration, with a parade, hot dogs, fireworks and other activities.