Dexter UMC has sponsored the Angel Tree Prison Fellowship Program for many years. We receive requests through the Chaplains of the various Michigan prisons to Christmas shop for the children (our angels) of inmates who live in Washtenaw County or the surrounding areas. Each year, through the generous support of many members of our church family, we have been able to provide a toy, an article of clothing, and a filled Christmas stocking for the children of these inmates.
The gifts are delivered by our own church members, with delivery usually coordinated by the United Methodist Men's group. Over the past few years, we have also had members provide their own handmade items such as hats and mittens as well as one member who makes all of the Christmas stockings. The United Methodist Women have financed several stockings and the Mission Cell provided Bibles for all our angels. We have also reached out to Busch's and Country Market for donations.
Since 2001, we have provided gifts for about 1,000 children which have made a positive impact on so many families. The words and letters of thanks after the gifts are delivered certainly let us know how much they are appreciated. We are fortunate to have over 225 church members participate each year in the gift giving--of which 17 are members of the committee. These are the true “angels” of this program. This mission program has certainly been very well received and supported by the Dexter UMC family and certainly brightens the eyes of many children who would otherwise go without.
If you are interested in helping with this ministry, simply select an "Angel" from the Christmas tree in the Atrium during the month of November and purchase gifts for that child. Gifts are delivered before Christmas to the families in need. For more information, contact Tom & Regina Bratten at tbratton@firstname.lastname@example.org or 734.846-2900.
It starts with a gift—but it leads to so much more. Keep sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with inmates’ children all year long!