By Brannigan Watson | Web Managing Editor
You may have been paying attention to the recent donations being taken for Project A.N.G.E.L and wondered how many people we were able to help. Well, the Echo caught up with Project A.N.G.E.L director Nikki Ford to find out. These numbers represent the whole school corporation.
Ford said that the corporation was able to help hundreds of families around the area.
“I can tell you we provided Christmas gifts and food to 352 children in 136 families. Each family relieved between 3 and 8 boxes of assorted food donated by ACSC based on the size of the family. We delivered a total of 682 boxes of packed food,” Ford said.
The leftover food that was donated and not used to complete food boxes was given to the Mary Lee Maier Food Pantry. The food pantry allows local struggling families to pick up food to support themselves.
You may also remember when the step team was collecting donations of clothing items. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to get all of their donations in time to be added to gift bags for kids. Ford reflects on the importance of the project’s deadlines.
“They were not able to get the mittens to us until a couple days before delivery and we had already completed the bags for children delivery. With over 300 children to fulfill wish lists for, Project A.N.G.E.L must work on schedule to have all items donated by December 1 so that we can ensure all wish lists are fulfilled and we are prepared for delivery day. No two children receive the exact same gifts,” Ford said. “We ask for their wish list so we can purchase exactly what they ask for. This is another reason the deadline is so important to be met.”
Getting food and gifts to this number of families takes a lot of people Ford said. A.N.G.E.L. actually stands for Area Neighbors Giving Extra Love. The project gets hundreds of items for donations and the community also helps deliver them to families. The project relies on area citizens to help deliver and package donations. Ford says they are trying to expand the project in years to come.
“Right now we are focused on Christmas and tweaking this to the community needs. In the very near future, we will need to move our warehouse from our current location by April 1. [Our focus is] locating a warehouse which would be very low cost or donated for Project A.N.G.E.L.’s use. The board will be holding our year begin organizational workshop and meeting in January to review this past holiday season and begin planning for the next year. Our hope is to expand at some point in the future where county needs may be. If expansion occurs, this expansion will still focus on involving the entire community to meet this need. Involving our “neighbors” in our mission at the ground level is something that sets Project A.N.G.EL. from other non-profits in our community.” Ford said.
Photo submitted by Nikki Ford