Mississippi College

MC Shows Christmas Spirit to Needy Area Children

November 19, 2007

Mississippi College faculty, staff and students are showing their true Christmas spirit by helping needy area children again this holiday season.

This fall, the MC family is taking part in two activities sponsored by the Salvation Army.

At the Christian university in Clinton, MC supporters are signing up for the "Angel Tree" project to assist children with one or more parents in prison in Mississippi. Some are giving $25 to $50 per child to pay for Angel Tree gifts due by Dec. 14. The angel ornaments hanging on a Christmas tree at the school cafeteria point out the sizes of shoes and shirts needed by boys and girls.

Other ornaments note the games the children would like to receive for Christmas. Families will pick up the gifts at the MC Community Service Center in Farr Hall.

There were 87 children helped by the Angel tree project at Mississippi College last year and that should climb to 100 this season, said Shari Barnes, director of the MC Community Service Center. The youngsters in need come from cities all over Central Mississippi, from Jackson to Clinton, from Raymond to Crystal Springs, she said. Angel Tree cannot satisfy all of their needs for Christmas. "It is meant to help," she said. In some cases, there are as many as four to five children in a family with a parent in prison. Most of the inmates are incarcerated at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility near Pearl.

"If people just want to donate (money) we will go shopping for them," Barnes said after decorating the Christmas tree on the Clinton campus Monday.

Also popular at MC is the "Toys for Tots" drive led by the Salvation Army and U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. The toys are due on campus by Dec. 14. Members of the MC community are placing new gifts for a boy or girl in a box at the cafeteria.

Like Angel Tree, the Toys for Tots drive is boosted by the MC Community Service Center. The campaign cannot help everybody in need during the Christmas holidays in metro Jackson, Barnes said.

For more information, contact Shari Barnes at 601-259-5573 or sbarnes@mc.edu

PHOTO: Shari Barnes prepares MC's Angel Tree in the B.C. Rogers Student Center.

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