Angel Tree is back at the Apothecary in St. Joseph

With the help of staff members in the school district, St. Joseph Women's Community Club goes to work to help Santa spread the joy of the Christmas holiday and put smiles on the faces of kids in St. Joseph thanks to the warmth and generosity of their friends and neighbors. Last week, the local organization that has been serving the community for 68 years, set up the "Angel Tree" at the St. Joseph Apothecary in downtown St. Joseph hoping to make this holiday season a little brighter for families throughout the village.

"We get names of families from the schools, we talk to the family and get ideas for gifts and sizes on clothes, the community buys the gifts," Brooks Bennett-Miller told The Sentinel last week. "The Women's Club wraps the gifts and organizes for the families by child. We provide a ham and all the necessary items for the family to prepare a holiday dinner with sides and dessert. Plus, we buy each child a pair of holiday pajamas."

She said each family also receives an El Toro gift card and a Casey gift card for gas.

"The families are always so appreciative," she added. "When the parents come pick up their gifts and meals is so heartwarming as they are often overcome with emotion on what the community has come together to do to help a fellow neighbor."

The way the Angel Tree works is anyone willing to help can stop in the Apothecary and choose an ornament for a child who lives in the community. The donor purchases the item listed on the ornament and brings back to the store. The buyer simply deposits the unwrapped gift into a box next to the tree with the receipt and ornament attached to it by 1pm on December 12.

The Women's Club will take it from there. The ladies will sort and wrap the gifts for each family and deliver them along the food basket to enjoy a wonderful holiday dinner.

For those who would like help but are unable to shop, they can make a monetary donation for any unclaimed ornaments or towards the food baskets by calling Bennet-Miller (217) 474-1068. The Women's Club can also be reached by message via Facebook or by email at Any member of the Women's Club will gladly help collect your donation or answer any questions.

"This has been a tough year so what better time to be an Angel to someone else?"

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