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650 angels ‘need a home’

Twenty-three Andalusia area churches and businesses are already decorating for the holidays with Christmas trees. But these trees don’t hold ornaments and lights; instead, they hold paper angels representing gifts for Covington County children who will participate in Andalusia Community Christmas.

Andalusia Community Christmas volunteer Judy Bryant said there are about 650 angels available for “adoption” this year.

“There’s a little form to fill out when you pick up the angel,” she said. “It’s important that you print your name and phone number. A lot of people forget to put their name and phone number, and then we’re not sure if the angel has actually been claimed, or if it was just lost.”

Andalusia Community Christmas is an annual non-profit program that assists families in financial crisis by providing toys and clothing gifts to needy children in the community. This year, more than 650 children have signed up for the program and have asked for a special gift this Christmas. Each of those gifts have been recorded on the back of a paper “angel,” which are “adopted” by individuals who then go out and purchase those gifts.

Community Christmas angels can be picked up at the following locations: Andalusia Regional Hospital, Ansley Place, Beef O’Brady’s, CCB Community Bank, Christ the King Catholic Church, Covington Electric Cooperative, Darby’s Village Pharmacy, Dimples Day Care, First Baptist Church of Andalusia, Guardian Angel Day Care, J.C. Penney, PowerSouth, Regions Bank, PharmACare, Southeast Alabama Gas District, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Wachovia, Walker Business, Winn-Dixie, Sugar Rush, The Loot and Tillman Family Eye Care.

The gift packages and angel cards must be dropped off at the Kiwanis Building on either Fri., Dec. 4, from noon until 5 p.m., or Sat., Dec. 5, from 9 a.m. until noon. Those gifts will then be wrapped and given out to the children at a special community Christmas party Fri., Dec. 18, at 6:30 p.m. at the Kiwanis Building.

Bryant said the event would not be a success without the support of the community and participating businesses.

“This town has always been so generous to take care of the angels and gifts,” she said. “It’s wonderful that these businesses have taken time out of their busy days to help provide a convenient location for people to come pick up angels. And, of course, a lot of employees from those businesses also help buy many of the gifts.

“It’s a real community effort, and it’s wonderful to see every year.”