Donor names and phone numbers help Angel Tree volunteers

JACE BRUNS (left), a 3-year-old Minnesota Twins fan, is asked for his opinion concerning an Angel Tree gift tag by his mother, Kari Bruns of Madison. The Brunses were visiting Madison Public Library on Saturday morning when Food Pantry volunteers set up their Angel Tree near the front entrance.

The local Santas who donate gifts through Lake County's Angel Tree program during the holiday season are asked to complete two tasks to help the gift-giving program operate smoothly this winter up to when the recipients pick up their food parcels and presents.

Volunteers with the Lake County Food Pantry set up their gift-giving Christmas trees last weekend, and some donors may have already selected their donation tags. The gift donors can obtain the tags from holiday trees set up at Madison's public library, Gary's Bakery and Montgomery Furniture.

When donors pick up the gift tags that are specially printed for each boy and girl, they are asked to detach identifier cards from the tags, write their names and phone numbers on the cards, and leave the cards in collection boxes at each Angel Tree site.

Lana Johnson, a Food Pantry volunteer, said leaving the identifier cards at the tree sites will help volunteers manage the gift-giving program and provide assurances that all of the gift requests are fulfilled. Johnson said properly dropped off identifier cards save time.

Each of the gift tags is color-coded with red for girls and green for boys. The tags provide recipient identification numbers and family numbers so the gifts will go to the correct persons. In addition, they provide the gender and age of the children and descriptions of the types of gifts appreciated and clothing sizes.

Volunteers Johnson, Nancy Riedel, Julie Tolley, Janelle Wolf and Peyton Wolf set up the Angel Trees and collection boxes at the bakery and library on Saturday.

Donors can drop off their gifts from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 5-9 -- except on Sun., Dec. 6 -- at the Downtown Armory.

Recipient families can also help Food Pantry volunteers by picking up their Christmas food parcels and gifts on Dec. 12 from 9 a.m. to noon. The Angel Tree organizers are holding recipient food-parcel pickups at the armory to reduce any health risks and increase public safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.