Angel Tree is here! This year we chose to use the new virtual option from Angel Tree. There will be no tags on the tree, no actual shopping or delivering of gifts. Angel Tree has set it up so that all we need to do is select the child's virtual tag and pay on line. The gifts will only be Walmart gift cards this year.
This method of going virtual was in response to the various Covid restrictions local and nationwide so while it isn't as personal, it still allows the children to receive gifts on behalf of their incarcerated parents. This year, each child will receive one $20 gift card, but hopefully next year we will be able to have more flexibility as far as multiple sponsors for each child and a variety of gift card options. We also have the opportunity to provide a gift card for the caregiver this year. One other benefit to this virtual format is that the sponsorships are now tax deductible!
How to Sponsor:
- Click on this link: https://vat.angeltreetool.org/fa3c49e8-1e3d-4544-9db9-64d726e0ec6c
- Enter our Lakeshore specific code: E97D3 (it is case sensitive)
- View the available children's tags (you can sort by age range or boy/girl if desired)
- Choose a child (If there are siblings, the system will ask if you want to sponsor all the siblings.
- Repeat for as many children as you want to sponsor
- Click on Checkout
- Review your sponsorships
- You can remove children from your list at this point if needed
- At the bottom it will ask if you want to sponsor the caregivers – optional
- Can go back and select more children if needed
- Go to Payment
- To use the AHC option – enter your bank routing info and account
- To use the Debit/Credit option – enter your card information
- Be sure the enter your email to receive the tax deduction receipt
Because this format is new and was put together rather quickly, our options are a little more limited for now. Let's just do what we can and if you run into any problems, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Of course it isn't quite as much fun "shopping" this way, and for sure we are spending less per child, but remember that we can now sponsor more children and remember the caregivers too!
- What is the deadline for sponsoring?
All "tags" should be taken by 12/14 to allow mailing time from Angel Tree. We do not need to do the mailing ourselves, Angel Tree is taking care of the purchase and mailing of the cards.
- How much can I donate?
The amount is set at $22 for each child or caregiver this year. This is for a $20 gift card and $2 towards mailing/handling.
- What will each child receive?
Each child will receive a $20 Walmart gift card, a greeting card with the message from their incarcerated parent, a Gospel presentation, and a card to request a free Bible.
- Can I sponsor only some of the children in a family group?
Yes, but it will be a little more involved. The children are not identified by family group but the system will let you know when you select a child if there are any other siblings and how many. Example: You select a child and the system tells you there are 4 other siblings but you only want to sponsor three children. Go ahead and select that child, then go to Checkout and review the children listed. Remove the children you will not be sponsoring from there.
- Will the caregivers receive gift cards?
Only if you select that option when checking out. If you have children from different households, you may get a notification on multiple caregivers. The system doesn’t allow you to select only one of those care givers unfortunately. You may have to play around with selecting and deselecting children to get the level of sponsorship you want.
- What if all the tags are taken but I still want to sponsor a child?
Email me at email@example.com! We can always get more children!
- Can I share the link and church code?
Yes, but let our immediate church family get the opportunity to sponsor our children first! There is a link on the page to make donations directly to Angel Tree/Prison Fellowship Ministries which you should be able to share as well.
- Are our children local to our neighborhood?
Primarily, yes. The children were assigned to us first by whether we have sponsored them in the past, then by our general area. We do have more from farther away this year and that is most likely due to fewer children in our immediate area needing sponsorships.
- Is the sponsorship site secure?
Yes. Angel Tree and Prison Fellowship Ministries have been accepting online donations for years and use secure transaction platforms. They are financially accredited and certified.