Helping the Angel Tree Ministry | Mississippi College | Mississippi College
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Helping the Angel Tree Ministry

Mississippi College students faculty and staff are once again supporting Prison Fellowship's Angel Tree project. Community Service Center Director Shari Barnes is pictured on November 26 with MC freshman Raley Holman, 18, of Athens, Georgia.

Clothes, shoes, basketballs, Bibles, games and other Christmas gifts will soon go to children with parents in the nation’s prisons.

For 36 years, donations to the Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree ministry have brightened the holidays for millions of kids. Mississippi College faculty, staff and students are supporting the ministry with their dollars again this Fall.

MC’s goal is to adopt 125 “angels,” with one or more parents in Mississippi jails.

A 21-year-old senior, Kourtne Dungan signed up Monday to make an Angel Tree donation because it’s a wonderful cause.

As the Christmas holidays near, “not everyone is fortunate,” says Dungan, a business administration major from Diamondhead. “If you have a little to give, why not give?”

Freshman Raley Holman, 18, sees Angel Tree as a nice way to bless children. It helps needy kids across Mississippi get in “the holiday spirit,” says the communication major. Giving back to the community is important to her this time of year, adds the Athens, Georgia resident.

Nationwide, as 2018 draws to a close, there are 2.7 million children with parents incarcerated across America.

Shari Barnes, director of MC’s Community Service Center, oversees the project at the Christian university. She also helps distribute the gifts to family members in the Magnolia State.

Receiving the wrapped gifts will be boys and girls, ages 1 through 18. They live in Central Mississippi communities like Jackson, Clinton, Hazlehurst, Raymond, Pearl, Brandon, Crystal Springs and Byram.

The Mississippi College School of Law also conducts an Angel Tree campaign on its Jackson campus.

Reaching families with the love of Christ, Angel Tree has become the largest national outreach specifically for children of prisoners. Advocates say the drive helps meet their physical, emotional and spiritual needs.

“It started with a gift and it changed my life,” says Justice, 12, an Angel Tree recipient said on the ministry’s website.

A Christmas tree adorned with angels spreads the word to the university community. The MC cafeteria display will remain on the Clinton campus during lunch hours from late November through December 12.

“Stop by the table in the cafeteria and pick an angel to help at Christmas this year,” says Beth Masters, director of Christian Life and Ministries.

For more details, contact Shari Barnes at or 601-925-3267.