Holiday season Angel Tree project underway in community

Helping to support Pay It Forward program

The community has an opportunity to be a part of a program which will help to provide gifts to area children during the upcoming Christmas holiday season.

An evening parade is being planned on Saturday, Nov. 30, during the 2019 Christmas in Downtown Anna celebration.

The parade is being sponsored by the City of Anna. The event is set for 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 30 in Downtown Anna.

The parade is slated to start at East Jefferson Street and South Main Street and proceed north on Main Street. 

The parade will conclude in the West Davie parking lot with the lighting of a community Christmas tree.

In conjunction with the parade, Angel Trees have been set up in a number of businesses in the Union County area for the holiday season.

The angels on the trees will have clothing, toys and other items on them. The angels also will have gifts which will be presented to the veterans at the Illinois Veterans Home in Anna.

Beginning on Nov. 1, people could go to the businesses and pick an angel, or two, from the tree, then purchase the item and bring it to the parade on Nov. 30.

Volunteers who will be walking in the parade will collect the presents. The parade is scheduled to feature Anna Fire Department vehicles.

Participants in the Angel Tree program, as provided by the event’s organizers, include:

Jus10’s Frozen Yogurt, Anna. Rusty’s Home Center, Anna. Casey’s, Jonesboro. Wolf Lake Community Center, Wolf Lake.

Corzine Insurance, Dongola. Postal Pal, Anna. Annabelle Market, Anna. Pizza Villa, Anna. Strike Zone, Anna. 

Hepp Chiropractic, Anna. Jordo’s Pizza, Anna. Brick House, Anna. Wild Sisters, Anna. SI Builder Supply, Anna.

Fitness Forum, Anna. City of Anna. Whiffle Boys Pizza, Anna. Edward Jones, Tim McGrath, Anna. Coffman Martial Arts, Anna. Crabtree and Merriman Optometry, Anna. Sun Loan, Anna.

The Angel Trees are helping to support the Pay It Forward program in the community, which is spearheaded by Union County resident Linda Jackson.

Jackson shared the story of the Pay It Forward program in an email:

Many years ago, when my own children were small, I always sponsored a family through DCFS at Christmas. 

At that time Karen Funkhouser took care of that program. As the years went on Karen retired and Debbie Jackson took it over. After Debbie passed away no one was doing this program.  

About five years ago I thought I would try to contact the local schools and see if I could get it started up again.  

I wasn’t sure if I could do that due to HIPPA laws, but we worked it out.  

The schools send out forms to families that they determine could benefit from this program.  

On this form the families will list the sizes and wants of the children.  They send the forms to me and I, through the Pay It Forward-Union County, IL group on Facebook, get sponsors for the children and these sponsors get the information of what size clothing the child wears, what size shoes, what they “want” for Christmas, etc.

They purchase the items they choose to purchase and return them to me and I then arrange for pick up or delivery.  

This program is not the same as Shop with a Cop or Shop with a Fireman.  Those children are taken care of through those programs.  

Last year this program made Christmas a little brighter for 368 children.  

There are a lot of needy families in our area and these wonderful sponsors helped make things a little better. 

Presents also can be brought to the business or to Anna City Hall through December.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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