By Michele Bourdieu
The "Angel Tree" in the display window of the New Beginnings Angel Mission free store at 119 Fifth Street in Calumet offers the public an opportunity to take an angel ornament indicating the age and sometimes the size of a needy boy or girl so the donor can purchase a holiday gift or two for that child. Used items in good condition can also be donated. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)
CALUMET -- New Beginnings Angel Mission, a free store, has provided gifts for more than 250 needy children this holiday season, but more than 100 on their list still await gift donations -- new or used items. In addition, the need for food pantry donations is great this year.
"This is our biggest year so far," said Lynn Lanyon, Angel Mission co-director.
Lanyon said the Mission, now in a new location at 119 Fifth Street in Calumet, relies on donations of new or used items, non-perishable food and cash donations from the public in order to help many needy families in the community, especially this time of year. Their "Angel Tree" in the free store window is decorated with angel ornaments, each with the age and sometimes the size of a boy or girl in need of a gift. Donors can select an angel ornament and purchase one or more gifts for that child.
Terry Bazin, Angel Mission co-director, noted unwrapped gifts are preferred.
"That way the parents can be involved by wrapping the gift," she explained.
New Beginnings Angel Mission Co-directors Terry Bazin, left, and Lynn Lanyon display some recently donated sleds available for holiday gifts, along with a great variety of new and used items in the free store. Bazin, Lanyon and other volunteers have been working all weekend preparing the gifts for needy children. They will be accepting donations for Christmas until 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 23. After 6 p.m. donors can still call the store at 906-934-3602 or 906-370-9240 and find out how to donate last-minute gifts.
Bazin noted the urgent need to replenish the food pantry for needy families since food cards and cash assistance have been cut lately -- make it very difficult for many families, especially those without employment. The food pantry is available once a month for families, no questions asked. The amount of food depends on availability and family size.
Used items can also be donated throughout the year -- toys, clothes, coats, housewares, books, up-to-date magazines and DVD or VCR movies. Housewares must be in working order and dishes not chipped or cracked. Furnishings and linens must be clean and useful. Toys must be clean and in working order. All clothing donated should be clean and reflect current styles.
On Saturday, Dec. 21, the New Beginnings Angel Mission free store is filled with many items of clothing, as well as toys, that await wrapping to be given to needy children this holiday season.
The Angel Mission policy for clothing is "If we would not wear it, then it is not hung out."
Cash donations in the form of a check or money order can be made out to New Beginnings Angel Mission and mailed to the store at 119 Fifth St., Calumet, MI 49913.
The Mackinac Presbytery (of the Presbyterian Church), through the Portage Lake United Church in Houghton, provides the rent for the New Beginnings Angel Mission free store. Otherwise this community resource depends on donations from the public and volunteers for its work.
Regular hours of the New Beginnings Angel Mission free store are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday. Tomorrow, Monday, Dec. 23, the store will be open for accepting donations of items until 6 p.m. After 6 p.m., if you still have something to donate, call 906-934-3602 or 906-370-9240.