By GREG RUSSELL, Register Staff Writer
Gainesville Daily Register
This weekend is set to include placement of “Littlest Angel” trees in Gainesville’s Walmart entrance and First State Bank lobby.
Organizer Melissa Wilson said participants can visit those trees and sponsor participating families through Dec. 12.
“Anybody who wants to adopt an angel can pick up one,” she said Friday. “It’s imperative that they bring it back by the due date in order for the child to receive that gift.”
After mid-December, volunteers will sort through the donated gifts and prepare them for a holiday recipient ceremony at Gainesville Civic Center. Wilson added that if possible, sponsors should try and provide both a toy and an item of clothing for each child they select.
Locally, this give-and-receive enterprise has been a Cooke County staple since 1987, Wilson said, and remains a team effort among local agencies and clubs.
The fall season has already offered related events in Cooke County, and more are planned. “Sweaty Santa,” presented by Bosco’s Gym in Gainesville, is set for 8 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at the gym. Visitors bring unwrapped Littlest Angel toys as admission fees to various “mini-workout” programs available at the gym throughout the day.
Earlier in November, the North Central Texas College volleyball team donated some of the gate receipts from recent matches to members of the college’s community relations committee, who intend to use the money to buy Angel gifts.
And on Nov. 3, members from the Law Dogs Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club, Cooke County Cycle Club and the Cross Timbers chapter of the Christian Motorcyclists Association embarked on a 75-mile run through Cooke County that ended with an afternoon festival on California Street. Proceeds were more than $6,000, and all of this amount was earmarked for Angel gifts.
Wilson said the current Angel roster includes more than 150 families, many with multiple children. By season’s end, several hundred children will receive gifts. A recent workshop allowed parents to apply for inclusion in this year’s Littlest Angel program — and if enough applications are received, she said, a second workshop will allow more local parents to sign up and possibly receive Christmas gifts for their children.
“We are still accepting applications,” she said. “As long as they qualify, they can turn in applications.”