Christmas Angels bring holiday cheer
Now in its fifth year, the local Christmas Angels Program that benefits needy families continues to grow. The program, which was started by Amber Rodas, benefitted 75 children and 30 families in Minneota this year through donations and volunteers.
“It was really gratifying to see all the donations,” said Rodas. “I am so grateful how the community steps up and shows their support.”
The Christmas Angels program received donated toys, money, quilts, and $1,500 in groceries and turkeys for the holiday. The money was then used to shop for gifts for the children.
“It is so heart-warming to see a student’s new clothes at school that they received through the program,” said Rodas. “You can see it on their faces how happy they are.”
Donations came from area individuals, churches and businesses. “The National Honor Society students helped sort and wrap the toys and tie up the quilts,” Rodas said.
“Each kid provided a wish list and had a sponsor shop for their gifts.”
There were 40 quilts donated from the Marshall Chapter of the Catholic Daughters of America.
“They were the lap-size quilt that are perfect for children,” Rodas said. “They are expensive to make and we appreciated them being donated to us.”
Each student received several gifts, and the family received food for a holiday feast. The toys, clothing and food were distributed Dec. 13-14 at the Minneota Community Center. One large family was seen leaving the distribution area with several large boxes of items to help make their holiday special. “As word is getting out more and more about the program, we are getting a lot more donations,” Rodas said.
“Last year, we helped 60 students and 20 families, so it has grown bigger this year.”
And the students, especially the smaller ones, don’t know the gifts they received come from donations. “They think they come from the parents, or from Santa,” said Rodas.
“And that makes it even better.” Brad’s Market packaged up the food to be distributed, while Dollar General offered to set up a donation box for those wishing to donate toys.
“Brad (Minnehan) is wonderful,” said Rodas. “He gave us the food at cost and then helped box it up for the shoppers to pick up. That’s a huge task for him.”
“And Dollar General contacted me and offered to put a donation box in their store. We received around 50 toys from that box.”
These 30 families and 75 children will be able to enjoy Christmas much more than they would have without the Christmas Angels program.
Donations this year came from: Ag County Farm Credit - $600, Private donors - $200, Thrivent Financial - $250, Walmart Foundation - $1,000, Catholic Daughters of America, Marshall Chapter - 40 quilts, Hope Lutheran Walk Around - $400, Scott Hanson and Minneota students - $500 in frozen turkeys
Volunteers: Brad’s Market, Dollar General, Minneota National Honor Society, Community members, Minneota City Offices (use of facility)