PINNACLE — Participants in the 15th-Annual Shoals Angel Tree Project came together at the Shoals Ruritan Building on two occasions last week.
At first, they welcomed back the large number of local residents and church groups who had previously selected an angel from this year’s tree, as a bountiful supply of presents were dropped off.
Later, the families of the “angels” began to arrive and to load the gifts that would help to brighten the holidays of area children. Clothing and other practical items were mixed in with toys and games, with wide-eyed youngsters often watching as goodies were loaded.
According to Shoals Ruritan Public Service Committee representative Wallye Jones, wrapped gifts were provided for 99 angels representing 38 separate families this year, with most coming from the Shoals community. All angels selected for the project came from the tree.
The Surry County Sheriff’s Office presented each family with a food box, part of the 274 boxes created by law enforcement and community volunteers over the past week. The Shoals Ruritan Club provided a Christmas treat bag.
“As they picked up their gifts,” Jones noted, “the families were very thankful and pleased.”
“The response from our community was great,” she continued. “We had local residents and churches taking angels and the school got involved in the project. We continued to receive some calls after all the angels had been taken. There was a lot of community interest in this project and that’s good to see.”
Jones noted the particular efforts of Shoals Ruritan Dale Jessup, a leader and motivating force in the project throughout its 15-year history.
“This is something we look forward to each year,” Jones said. “It brightens our Christmas. It’s a really good feeling to be able to help someone with need.”