Businesses have ‘angels’ left

Published 1:12 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

With only three days left until the deadline to turn in Community Christmas gifts, many local businesses say they still have many angels left for “adoption.”

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.

The angels are available at a variety of businesses and churches, including Regions Bank, where branch manager Nancy Cole said the bank still had eight angels left.

“We had 20 at the start and we’re down to eight now,” she said. “It seems like we haven’t had the response this year we thought we would. Employees have taken some, and customers have taken a few, but we’ve still got a good number left on the tree.

“We’d love for people to still come in and get them.”

The gift packages and angel cards must be dropped off at the Kiwanis Building on either Friday from noon until 5 p.m., or Saturday 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.

Community Christmas chairman Larry Avery explained that volunteers will have to purchase gifts for any “un-adopted” angels.

“The deadline is coming up this Friday, so it’s important for people to go out and help purchase gifts as much as they can,” he said. “If the angels are not picked up or adopted, then we’ve got to go out and shop for the gifts. Every child who asked for a gift will be accounted for, but it’s still better to have the community help out as much as they can.”

David Darby, owner of Darby’s Village Pharmacy, said Monday his tree still has 16 angels left of his original 28.

“It does seem slower than normal,” he said. “Last year, we ran out of our initial allotment and got some more in later. I think part of it may be that people don’t realize the deadline is coming up here this weekend. And I’m sure the bad economy might have something to do with it as well.”

Other businesses also reported many left on their trees. As of Monday, J.C. Penney still had seven left, Sugar Rush had five left of its original eight and Walker Business Machines had three left of its original eight.

However, at First Baptist Church of Andalusia, church secretary Lynne McCord said all 40 of the church’s allotment were adopted.

“We just got the last ones adopted (Sunday),” she said. “In the past, we’ve had another batch come in, but we’re not going to be able to do that this year. Most of the angels are adopted at Sunday services, so we really wouldn’t have any way to get any more angels out before the weekend deadline.”

Avery said PowerSouth also accounted for each of its 100 angels.

Community Christmas angels may still be available 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, Guardian Angel Day Care, J.C. Penney, 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.