Christmas gifts for about 80 needy boys and girls in Rosepine depend on angels flying very close to the ground.
The annual Angel Tree, sponsored by the Rosepine Elementary Parent Teacher Organization, is up in its traditional place in the Town Hall.
Angels can go by any time during regular business hours and pick from the tree one or more names of children. While the kids’ names on the tree are limited to residents of Rosepine, angels bearing gifts, as everyone knows, can come from anywhere.
Mayor Donna Duvall said the tree’s presence in the Town Hall started during the administration of Mayor Bruce Ward. His wife Margaret was instrumental in the school beginning the gifts project.
The PTO gathers the names of children whose families need some holiday assistance. Each child’s place on the tree includes a list of clothing and shoe sizes and three items other than clothing that the child would like to have.
Reading some of the lists reveals one overwhelming gift wish — bicycles are favored by boys and girls. Barbie is also popular with the girls, and remote-control cars dot the boys’ lists.
Those buying for the kids aren’t limited to the request lists though most do follow them, according to Police Clerk of Court Lisa Reid.
All the gifts are taken by purchasers to the City Courtroom where they are wrapped and readied for distribution by the PTO. “The Courtroom looks like Santa’s toy shop by the time all is done,” said Duvall.
This year, gifts have to be turned in by purchasers on or before Dec. 8. “It’s a short time frame,” said Reid, who noted there has yet to be a year when all the kids’ names were not plucked from the tree.
“We work the phone and social media if time starts running out,” said Duvall.
In addition to the needy kids’ names and lists, the tree is packed with decorations made by Rosepine Elementary students.
In years past, city officials have been judges in the student decorations contest, picking winners from among the finalists selected by the PTO.