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STEPHENVILLE, Texas—The holidays will be much brighter for several Cross Timbers area children thanks to Tarleton State University’s Lil Texan & TexAnn Angel Tree project.
This year’s project, an effort coordinated by Tarleton’s Office of Student Engagement and Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity, will provide nearly 600 gifts to 140 area children during the Christmas season. The Lil Texan & TexAnn Angel Tree project partners with housing authorities in the nearby communities of Dublin, Gorman and De Leon to supply gifts to children ages 2 months to 18 years.
“The Angel Tree Project is a great way for Tarleton students and others on campus to come together and get into the season of giving,” said graduate student Lauren Motloch. “Christmas morning will be a little bit happier for the kids who receive these gifts.”
The Angel Tree project began in 1995. Each November, individual students, student organizations, Tarleton faculty and staff “adopt” a child or several children from the Christmas tree in the Barry B. Thompson Student Center, Motloch explained.
“We began collecting gift donations the week before Thanksgiving break, and all 140 children were adopted in just two days. The great response from our students and the Tarleton community is amazing,” she said.
Dylan Fisher, a junior ag business major and Alpha Gamma Rho alumni relations chair, said this is the third year the Greek organization has co-sponsored the Lil Texan & TexAnn Angel Tree project.
“Our fraternity prides itself on participating in community service efforts, and it’s great to see our brothers come together to provide hundreds of gifts for those in need,” said Fisher. “Everyone who supported the project did an excellent job donating and collecting gifts. Many realize how very blessed they are and want to bring a smile to those less fortunate.”
Alpha Gamma Rho members and representatives from SSC Service Solutions—Tarleton’s custodial, facility and campus grounds maintenance partner—gathered at the Thompson Student Center early Friday morning to load the gifts into a box truck for distribution.
“The student response this year was remarkable,” said Darrell Brown, executive director of student engagement at Tarleton, “and university faculty and staff are always great supporters of our Angel Tree. While many students have left campus for winter break, it’s great that Alpha Gamma Rho and several student leaders stayed behind to oversee this effort and make sure these children have a happy Christmas.”