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MSSU’s Angel Tree Program Brightens Holidays for Families

Located on the second floor of Hearnes Hall, right outside of the president’s office, sits the Angel Tree.

Instead of ornaments, the Angel Tree showcases the heartfelt wishes of children from all around Joplin, making it a stunning, unique, and genuine Christmas tree.

The Angel Tree was created by the community service committee and staff senate. It’s just another way for MSSU to give back to its students. 

The process behind the Angel Tree involves students who are Pell Grant eligible with children up to 18 years old can submit an angel tree application where they share their child’s gender, age, and what they want for Christmas. 

Staff members have the option to team up or work individually to purchase the gift for the child.

“The idea is to help students out who have children that may be on a tight budget or because they have to go to school full time, they don’t work and they don’t have a lot of extra money to go buy gifts at Christmas time,” said Julie Christiansen, Staff Senate Member. 

Once all gifts are purchased, staff, faculty, and even students can come together to wrap every gift and get them ready for pickup by the parent. 

According to Christiansen, the event has always been something staff looks forward to. 

“[The staff] can’t wait. They want to know when is it starting, when are the tags going up, how many children are there…then within the first day of it being up, a lot of the tags get taken,” said Christiansen.

This anonymous program also leaves the families feeling grateful and happy to see their child(ren) smile. 

“Appreciative is definitely a word I would use. They’re always so thankful, which is my favorite part,” said Christiansen.

For more information on the Angel Tree program contact Julie Christiansen at [email protected] or 417.625.3005

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