Our Signature Club Project: The Angel Gift Program
The Dare County Department of Social Services reached out to the Outer Banks Woman’s Club for a way to assist local families who struggle financially to purchase gifts for their children at Christmas. This program was initiated in 1987 as a partnership between the Dare County Department of Social Services and the Outer Banks Woman’s Club. The program’s success is due to the generous donations provided by local businesses, organizations and private individuals.
Each year in late October, families may apply for this program through the Dare County Department of Social Services. Predetermined criteria is used to screen and select the families to be assisted. The identity of the families remains confidential. Club members then hold an interview with parents or guardians in order to list specific toys and clothing each child desires.
There are three ways the public may support this program. One way is by “adopting” one or more children and purchasing their wish list items. A second way is by selecting one or more paper “angels” from Christmas trees on display in various community locations. Each paper angel lists a small portion of requests from each child’s wish list. A third way is by making monetary donations, used by club members to purchase requested items.
Once the donated items are delivered to the club members, the task of sorting and organizing each child’s gifts begins. The parents or guardians receive their children’s gifts in early December. Due to the longevity of the program, some adults who currently support the program were once Angel Gift recipients. It is a heart-warming experience to witness the outpouring of support from this wonderful community!