The 2016 Lions Club Angel Tree program is wrapping up as deliveries are being made this week to less fortunate families. They are receiving gifts of toys and clothes for Christmas, as well as food to help make their holidays a little merrier. In fact, food donations increased by more than 30 percent for this year.
"The Princeton Lions Club would like to thank all the student organizations, athletic teams and community volunteers that helped with this year's canned food drive," Lions Club president Greg Tabor said. "We would also like to thank all the school campuses that collected food to help make this another successful year."
According to Superintendent Philip Anthony, PISD has a number of students that might go without Christmas if the community did not reach out to them.
This year, 570 children, including 192 families, were helped through the annual Angel Tree program. This number is up from 515 angels who were adopted last year.
This marks the ninth year that the program was able to assist every applicant.
The community joined forces with the Lions Club to make all of this possible. In addition, the City of Princeton, Citizen's Bank, Independent Bank and Golden Chick assisted by having Angel Trees in their locations.
“Without the extra assistance from the community, many children might go without a nice Christmas,” Mr. Anthony said. “The district employees do a great job in stepping up to help. Many make payroll contributions, and lots of the teachers and coaches get the students in their programs to help by donating to the Angel Tree.”
Groups such as athletic teams, FCA, PALs, cheer, National Honor Society and NJHS adopt the Angel Tree program as a community service project. Each member brings toys or clothes or they shop together as a group.
It also takes manpower to get everything ready for delivery. The PISD board room and the auxiliary services bus barn were transformed into makeshift Santa’s workshops. Students and church and community members volunteered their time to get presents wrapped and sort food for delivery.
"It's good to see everyone coming together to make this happen for the less fortunate families in Princeton," said NHS Vice President Sara Wood, who is also an FCA leader. "It shows the true meaning of this Christmas season."