Nov. 29, 2018 – For the 16th consecutive year, the congregation at First Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale will provide more than 350 gifts to children whose parents are incarcerated. In addition to serving approximately 150 children in south Florida, parishioners will also ensure that 11 families in Washington County, an area hit hard by Hurricane Michael, will also receive presents.
“The Angel Tree project spreads Christmas cheer to children who are often forgotten,” said church member and Angel Tree Coordinator Jan Nolander. “Each child will receive two gifts, a clothing item and a “fun” gift, on their wish list which ensures the experience is personalized and extra special.”
First Presbyterian’s congregation partners with the Junior League of Ft. Lauderdale and Happyland Day School to provide the gifts. Each angel tag on the tree represents a child who needs community members to provide gifts in the name of their incarcerated parent. The angel tags identify the child’s age range, gender, and wish list.
“Perhaps one of the most notable elements is that all the gifts arrive in the children’s hands on behalf of their parent and also include a short message from their parent,” said Nolander.
First Presbyterian’s congregation is providing Walmart gift cards to the 11 families in Northern Florida affected by Hurricane Michael. The Walmart gift cards will be sent to the families so that appropriate gifts can be purchased just in time for Christmas morning.
The south Florida children will receive their gifts at the annual Angel Tree party where they will enjoy refreshments, crafts, and, new this year, karaoke and a photo booth! In addition, the families will partake in a short service to talk about the true meaning of Christmas and will have the opportunity to create beautiful Christmas cards, along with taking a photo with Santa, to send to their parents in prison.