Angels on earth

First Baptist Church provides children presents through Angel Tree program

Some parents can't be with their children on Christmas.

Some parents are in prison.

That's why First Baptist Church is again hosting the Angel Tree program that enables parents in prison to choose holiday presents for their children.

"The point of Angel Tree is to build relationships between the parent in prison and the child," said LuAnn Kline, secretary at First Baptist Church and coordinator of the missions committee project.

The nationwide program matches prisoners with local organizations. The prisoners apply and choose one toy and one clothing item they would like their children to receive.

Church members then take the angel tags off the tree at the church and purchase the gifts. All of this year's tags have been taken, Kline said.

The gifts are wrapped with messages from the parents and given in the parents' names. The gifts will be delivered Sunday.

Pastor Len Browning said First Baptist participates in the Angel Tree program because scripture calls church members to help others.

"One of the earmarks of Christianity is helping widows, orphans and those who are in prison," he said.

This year, the program is assisting 32 local children in 15 families.

"Some years, there are a lot more," Kline said.

First Baptist has participated in the program for more than a decade, Kline said.

She estimates 150 families have received gifts. Some prisoners participate for several years.

For more information on the Angel Tree program, visit www.angeltree.org.

Michelle Perry can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or mperry@craigdailypress.com.

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