The angel trees at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Miami are full of angels waiting to be claimed.
Each piece of paper shaped like an angel lists the Christmas wishes of an individual child in Ottawa County.
This is the second year the angels are under the supervision of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College with the assistance of the United Way.
The angel trees are being worked on by Nicole Brown, director, and Barbara Patterson with the High School and College Relations Department at the college, as well as Tisha Abell with the United Way.
“Having done the angel trees last year, we have some idea of changes that needed to be made to improve how things work,” Brown said. “We're actually enjoying it.”
Gifts need to be left in the box at the store or at the High School and College Relations Department at the college by Dec. 14.
The college got an earlier start on the project, sending letters for recommendations to the county schools in October.
“After doing it last year, I went to college president Glenn Mayle and told him what a positive thing I felt we did with the angel tree,” Brown said. “He gave his overwhelming approval that we take the time to do it again.”
“We've been surprised at the number of young children, babies, whose families need help,” Brown said. “Many would ask for a toy or two and a box of diapers.”
This year, there are 739 children with angels. That's down from almost 800 children a year ago.
“We think that might be due to the flood,” Brown said. “We understand some people have probably had to move.”
The variety of gifts requested is as diverse as the children.
“The most popular item the kids asked for was bikes,” Brown said. “We also had some that asked for coats and shoes.
“Several children asked for CD players or a PlayStation and wrote that used ones were okay.”
The United Way is again donating $500 to help purchase gifts for the angels no one else has helped.
Several businesses have called asking for a certain number of angels. Others have made monetary donations.
Members of the student body government and college ambassadors will have several days to sort the gifts by family before the parents will pick them up.
Parents will receive a letter specifying the time and place of pick up.
For more information, contact Brown or Patterson at 540-6291.