Written by Elyse Heise, Angel Tree Program Director
For over 25 years, the Jones Ministerial Alliance has served an average of 100 children and their families every Christmas season through the Angel Tree Program. The Jones Ministerial Alliance Angel Tree Program has become a staple of our community. Neighbors come together to help one another through anonymous means, thanks to the organization and leadership of the Jones Ministerial Alliance. This collaboration currently consists of local churches, including Jones United Methodist Church, Jones Assembly of God, First Baptist Church of Jones, First Christian Church, and St. Mary’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Each church provides various pieces of the finished project, from funds to food to volunteers, to ensure completed baskets for each family.
Over the years, there have been many changes regarding logistics, but some of the biggest changes have happened within the last few years. Registration is now electronic and allows families to self-identify. This registration method has also streamlined the rest of the process. “Four years ago, I noticed great inefficiencies that allowed families to fall through the cracks and be forgotten. I felt that defeated the purpose of serving our town, and I wanted to fix it,” says Elyse Heise, the current director of the Jones Angel Tree Project. “The electronic form helps organize all our kids and families and keep their information confidential.” Another change that has occurred under the direction of the current director in the inclusion of locally owned or connected businesses for sponsorship or logistics. In the past, Schwab’s Meat has helped provide hams for the food baskets while Blue and Gold Sausage Co. has graciously provided a truck and driver to transport them.
Registration for Jones Angel Tree opens today, October 19, 2020. One question that gets asked often is “Who qualifies?” Any child ages 0-18 that lives with their parent or legal guardian within the boundaries of Jones Public Schools, regardless of enrollment status. For families that are interested in signing up, you can click on the link here, http://bit.ly/JonesAngelTree. After registration closes, members of the Angel Tree Project team will contact those who have signed up to confirm and verify information.
For those who wish to “adopt” an angel this year, tags with coded identifying information will be available the week of Thanksgiving. Gifts will need to be purchased, wrapped, and returned on Dec. 15, 2020 4-8 pm to Jones United Methodist Church.
For anyone with questions, comments, or concerns you can contact Elyse Heise at (405) 309-9032 or firstname.lastname@example.org