Alpha Gamma Rho holds annual Angel Tree

Madison Reed

Multimedia Journalist

As the holidays draw near, many families and individuals are searching for ways to help their community and those in need. Tarleton State University’s Alpha Gamma Rho has Erath County covered by sponsoring roughly 150 kids through their annual Angel Tree.

The Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity has been sponsoring an Angel Tree for the past eight years—since 2012. With the help of adoptions and donations, they get gifts for low-income children in Stephenville and the surrounding towns like Dublin, Gorman and De Leon.

A few members of Alpha Gamma Rho pose with President Hurley with gifts for the angel. Photo courtesy of Shelby Brownson.

Getting involved with Alpha Gamma Rho’s Angel Tree is really easy.

Shelby Brownson, a member of Alpha Gamma Rho who has been in charge of the Angel Tree for his fraternity for the past three years, said, “We have a table everyday set up [from] 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. All they gotta do is just, they can either donate usually—we do accept donations—or all they gotta do is just adopt an angel and go get it a few gifts, like three or four.”

It is open to everyone including Tarleton students as well as the community. In fact, according to Brownson, many community members adopt angels each year.

As of Thursday, Nov. 12, there were only seven angels that still need to be adopted out of the 150 or so kids on the tree.

Once a child has been adopted, those who have adopted them will get a list of gift ideas with the child’s clothing size, shoe size and interests on it.

When asked what a needed gift for the kids was, Brownson quickly responded with, “Clothes! Clothes are a big thing. Usually try to [get] like two to three clothes items and like one or two toys, but mainly a lot of clothes are needed like jackets, pants, we see a lot of shoes—mainly winter stuff.”

All angels need to be adopted and the gifts need to be bought and given to the fraternity by Monday, Nov. 23.

If angels are not adopted or if gifts are not dropped off by the deadline, many of the Alpha Gamma Rho members will adopt the angels themselves or supplement gifts so no kid will go without presents for Christmas.

“We don’t really have a set goal for how many kids we want to help,” Brownson said. “It’s kinda like [however] many need to be helped we try our hardest [to help], and we’ve never had [any] go without. We’ve always had [enough]—whether we’ve had to get it at the end because they didn’t get adopted or [because] people forget [to drop off gifts]. Our goal really is that everybody gets gifts.”

Once the gifts are given to Alpha Gamma Delta, they will bag up each gift according to which town they are going to, load them into a U-Haul and deliver them to each town’s low-income housing building on Thursday, Dec. 10.

Due to COVID-19, Alpha Gamma Rho did not know whether or not they would be able to do their annual Angel Tree this year.

“We weren’t allowed to start [early], and we didn’t even know if we were going to be able to do it at first…two weeks ago we finally got the approval. It was kinda a rush to get everything started.”

In years past, Alpha Gamma Rho has been given about six weeks to prepare and start the adoption process. They usually aim for the week of Oct. 16 each year to have the papers with the children’s names and information from the low-income housing authorities back and start the adoptions that same week.

This year they didn’t get to set up their first table for the adoption of angels until Wednesday, Oct. 28.

“With starting late, COVID and all that, I really didn’t expect us to get as many done as quick as we have…We’ve really knocked it out of the park this year,” Brownson said.

If you would like to get involved by adopting an angel or giving a donation, you can email Shelby Brownson at shelby.brownson@go.tarleton.edu, go to the Alpha Gamma Rho Angel Tree booth from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the student center or go to Stephanie Chambers’ office in Fraternity and Sorority Life.

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