Angels need a little boost

Wanda English Burnett


Bill Warren is grateful to the five donors who have given to the Angels of Giving program he’s involved with.

However, he knows it’s not enough to cover the 132 applicants that represent over 500 people so far this year who are in need. Last year there were over 90 donors to cover the massive needs of the county.

Warren has been on the giving end of the program in Ripley County for the past ten years. But, he’s also known times of need, especially as a child. “We’re desperate for help,” Warren told The Versailles Republican as tears came to his eyes.

He remembers comments made to him in past years such as one mother who said, “If it wasn’t for you, we wouldn’t have Christmas.”

Warren says it’s far from him being the sole person in the Angels of Giving organization. There have been a host of volunteers over the years who have donated their time and resources to help. “We’ve helped so many people over the years,” he noted.

Not only does the group put smiles on the faces of children, they also provide for needs of the elderly. “Some might need food - others may ask for a warm winter coat or blankets,” he said.

Shanna Joseph, another volunteer with the program noted this year she is seeing a lot of requests for household items such as laundry detergent or soap. “People are really in need,” she noted.

“No gift is too small,” Warren said. He said they appreciate every cent from a handful of change to large checks. “It all adds up,” he said.

“People can adopt a family or just one person,” Warren continued. He said the group won’t turn away any donation, non-perishable foods are accepted as well.

“One year a donor bought Christmas dinner with all the trimmings for four families,” Warren recalled. “That really meant a lot to those families.”

The group that helps those in need across the county will continue their mission “one family at a time - one person at a time,” according to Warren.

Warren says the group checks with other similar agencies that give Christmas to make sure applicants aren’t overlapping. They fill needs for those in need and sometimes are able to fulfill some wishes for toys for children.

Joseph is passionate about the program she has volunteered in for several years. “I couldn’t stand for a child not to get something on Christmas,” she said. She spends numerous hours shopping, organizing, wrapping, sorting, and handing out bags of goodies.

Those giving should have their donations given no later than December 8 so Santa’s helpers have time to organize the massive undertaking.

Last year they completely filled a building at the Ripley County Fairgrounds Park in Osgood.

“As we sit around the Thanksgiving table this year, let’s not forget those less fortunate...I’m counting on people to come through,” Warren concluded.

You can contact Joseph at 756-0958 or Warren at 689-4427 or 756-2560 if you’re interested in giving. Checks may be made out to Angels of Giving marked “gifts”.