To the Editor:

Bell County communities, large and small, again provided tremendous support for Project Angel Tree, which is affiliated with J.A.I.L. Ministry in Belton. A better and brighter Christmas was made possible for 1,636 children through the combined efforts of 43 local churches, service clubs, businesses, organizations and schools.

The majority of the recipients were children with a parent in prison or jail. Each child received three presents, which included an item of clothing, a toy and a gift depicting the true meaning of Christmas. The gifts were delivered to their homes by volunteers a few days before Christmas. In addition, boxes filled with gifts were shipped to the 103 children who live out of town or out of state, but had a parent incarcerated in Bell County Jail.

Over the past 14 years, the program has grown by serving other groups in our area who are in need of Christmas joy. They included Bell County jailer’s children, Christian Farms-Treehouse clients, children served through Belton Head Start, Bell County Juvenile Center and CASA. A total of 4,418 gifts were given through Project Angel Tree in 2013.

To all who participated by phoning caretakers, writing letters, organizing, purchasing, gift wrapping, packing, shipping, delivering, or donating money, please know that you have done a great work. In Matthew 25:40, Jesus said, “…whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me.”

God bless you for your giving hearts!

Jeannette Kelley and Deanna West

Project Angel Tree coordinators

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