Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
The Episcopal Church »  |  The Diocese of Virginia

Angel Tree Christmas Presents

St. Thomas remains grateful for the excellent leadership and coordination of our long-standing "Angel Tree" ministry headed by Ms. Zan Thomas.  Each year we receive a list of children whose parents are inmates in the nearby Central Virginia Regional Jail.  Due to the incarcerated status of the parents, there is no money for that parent [often a single-parent] to buy presents for their own children.

Ms. Thomas coordinates the necessary information on each child, such as sex, age, clothing size, and Christmas wish and/or need.  The children themselves remain anonymous to the congregation who may choose one or more of the "children".  Each child is represented by the information above and the parishioner choosing that child uses the information to find a gift to fulfill the child's need or wish.  Generally, the child wants something as simple as a baby doll or a new coat.  The parishioner acquires and wraps the Christmas present, addressing it from the child's parent(s).  The child's parent(s) are then informed of the gift given on their behalf.

Optimally, the children always believe that their parent(s) managed to get the present for them.  This is one of the most direct, generous, and selfless ministries of St. Thomas and we consider it a great privilege to participate.