Angel Mission?Free Store still needs gifts for more than 200 kids

CALUMET – The staff at New Beginnings Angel Mission Free Store in Calumet are once again collecting toys and other items for their Angel Tree Christmas gift program, and many more gifts are needed in the next few days.

Terry Bazin, co-director of the Free Store, said those who would like to donate to the program should come to the store located at 119 Fifth St. in Calumet to get a paper tree ornament, which has a child’s age, gender, sizes and a list of what they want and what they need.

“We try to get the kids each three wants and three needs,” she said.

The gifts are for children aged newborn to 18 years old, Bazin said.

Bazin said people can donate all or some of the gifts listed on the ornament. The store will be providing some gifts, also.

“They get hats, gloves and scarves from us,” she said.

Bazin said within a family, donated items will be distributed evenly.

“We make sure in each family each child has the same amount of gifts,” she said.

Bazin said 276 children registered for the Angel Tree program, but as of Thursday, only about 70 requests have been filled.

Although she would like all the gifts to be at the store by Monday, Bazin said volunteers at the store will work on the project for as long as it takes.

“We’re going to do it until it’s done,” she said.

The gifts have to be wrapped, Bazin said, and they hope to deliver them by Christmas Eve.

Bazin said there is a need, also, for the Free Store’s food pantry. Although it’s full now, what they have will last only about two weeks.

“This isn’t going to last long,” she said of the items on the pantry shelves. “We definitely need more.”

The normal hours of operation for the store are Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. However, in order to get the packages for the Angel Tree program wrapped and ready for delivery, the store won’t be open Friday and Saturday. The staff will be at the store, however, so people wanting to drop off items should call 370-9240 or 934-3602 to let staff know they want to come to the store.