Mississippi College

Angel Tree Reaches Children of Prisoners with Christmas Gifts at Mississippi College

November 20, 2013

Angel Tree supporters seek to shower 425,000 children of prisoners around the nation with Christmas gifts.

Mississippi College students, faculty and staff are helping brighten the Christmas holidays for at least 135 children with mothers and fathers in prisons around the Magnolia State.

The Angel Tree display went up in the campus cafeteria on November 19, with a little more than one month before the holiday season.

“It’s a great way for students, faculty and staff to be the hands and feet of Christ,” said Mississippi College Flowood Center director Sara Kimmel. She joined the first few people signing up for the Angel Tree Prison Fellowship on the Clinton campus this fall.

“These kids have a lot of challenges,” adds Kimmel, an MC business professor. It’s something the youngsters face year-round in low-income households with parents incarcerated far away, she noted.

This is the seventh consecutive year that Mississippi College has participated in the Angel Tree program.

Mississippi College staffers expect to have the presents collected by December 16 and distributed to children in Vicksburg, Jackson, Raymond, Clinton, Brandon, Pearl and other communities just in time for Christmas, said Shari Barnes, director of MC’s Community Service Center.

Angel Tree Prison Fellowship leaders estimate that spending $12.25 will be sufficient to supply two children with gifts.

The goal of reaching 425,000 children across the USA doesn’t come close to matching all the needs. There are 2.7 million children nationwide with mothers, fathers or both parents in American prisons in 2013.

Mississippi College freshman Grace Hall of Forney, Texas is happy to lend her support to the charitable cause. “We’re helping people. And Christmas is a time of giving,” she said. “Everyone is so supportive.”

Hall, Barnes and others will gather Angel Tree items on campus until just before Thanksgiving and get back at it following turkey day festivities.

Donations to Angel Tree at Mississippi College brought Christmas joy to about 135 children in metro Jackson last year.

For more information, contact Shari Barnes at MC’s Community Service Center at 601.925.3267 or sbarnes@mc.edu.

Photo: Mississippi College freshman Grace Hall of Forney, Texas helps Community Service Center director Shari Barnes collect Angel Tree gifts on the Clinton campus in November. The gifts will go to the children of Mississippi prisoners just in time for Christmas.

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