For the past five years, MSC Aggie Leaders of Tomorrow has been in partnership with the Bryan-College Station Salvation Army to help provide children in the community with gifts on Christmas.
The freshman leadership organization works with the local Salvation Army to put on their annual Angel Tree program. With several tables set up throughout campus, students, faculty, staff and members of the community are given the opportunity to “adopt an angel.” By adopting an angel, the individual is responsible for buying the gifts for the holiday season that are then distributed by the Salvation Army. Each holiday season, the program adopts out upwards of 1,000 angels each Christmas season. The program will be adopting out angels through Nov. 30 this year.
Morgan Bush, finance sophomore and executive director of MSC ALOT’s Angel Tree program, said each child that qualifies for the Angel Tree program has a unique Angel ID card that has their wish list and ensures the gifts purchased go to that specific child. Bush said the Angel Tree program helps adopters recognize the personal advantages they have during the holidays.
“We do this because sometimes we take for granted the privilege we have of having things of our own, and there are people in this community that maybe don’t have that privilege or that opportunity,” Bush said.
According to MSC ALOT member and biomedical science freshman Branden Scott, members of the community can also get involved by working shifts at the Angel Tree tables to encourage others to sign up to adopt an angel. The tables are located at Evans Library and the Annex, the MSC, the Commons, Blocker, Quadbucks and the AGLS building, and will be open through Tuesday, Nov. 26.
“MSC ALOT is all about service and helping others, so this is a really good way to give back to the community,” Scott said. “It’s also a great way for other people to get involved in serving others, even if they aren’t in this organization.”
Mikayla Slaydon, general studies sophomore and Angel Tree participant, said the Angel Tree program has a greater impact than most people think and programs like this helped to make her childhood Christmas’ so wonderful.
“I participate in Angel Tree because I used to be one of those children in need that received Christmas gifts from organizations like Angel Tree,” said Slaydon. “It made my Christmas every year that someone that I didn’t even know put so much energy into making sure my Christmas was magical.”
Captain Paul Ryerson of the Bryan-College Station Salvation Army said MSC ALOT’s partnership makes one of the biggest impacts in the community for children around Christmas time, and their return rate of 97 percent gifts donated is one of the highest return rates in the area.
“MSC ALOT is wonderful,” Ryseron said. “Right now, to my knowledge, there is no other university or student organization that is doing what they’re doing that Salvation Army is aware of.”
To get involved with MSC ALOT’s Angel Tree program, sign up for table shifts by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the tables located to adopt an angel.