The following blog comes from one of our students and was originally published in an issue of Hilltopics.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Every year, students of Saint Lawrence Seminary actively participate in the Angel Tree Program. This ministry helps incarcerated parents to connect with their children during the Christmas season through groups purchasing and providing gifts for their children. Through the ministry, the parents were able to write a letter requesting a specific gift to be bought for their children. SLS students happily aided in the buying, wrapping and delivering of these gifts. The freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors helped to spread the Christmas spirit through these acts of ministry. Many of the students willingly volunteered to help spread the joy of the season. When Mrs. Buelow was asked why she takes on this project every year, she said, “It is always my favorite project of the year.” Ultimately, the children of the incarcerated feel the spirit of Christmas on behalf of their parents through the help of the SLS community.
The freshmen and the sophomores did many things to make the Angel Tree Program a success. Spreading the Christmas spirit, the freshmen worked to compose Christmas letters which were sent to the inmates. These letters helped to cheer many of the inmates, especially during the Christmas season. On the other hand, the sophomores were elves of sorts. They worked diligently to wrap hundreds of gifts for the children participating in the Angel Tree Program. The sophomores assembled after school, with the help of Mrs. Margie Buelow, to carefully wrap all the gifts for the children. All in all, the freshmen and sophomores played an essential role in the success of the Angel Tree Program.
The upperclassmen also played an important role in the success of the Angel Tree Program. Each year, our juniors assist in the buying of the Angel Tree gifts. Each junior was given Angel Tree slips with the name of the child they were buying the gifts for, along with the parent’s desired gifts for the child. During the ministry, the juniors went to many different stores in search of these gifts, including Target, Fleet Farm, and Kohl’s. The juniors carefully picked out each present, paying close attention to the sizes, the colors and qualities of the gifts. It was the seniors who delivered them to the children. Upon delivering the gifts, a group of seniors would knock on the door of the Angel Tree participant, hoping that they could brighten their day. Senior Alexis Rojas said, “It is an extremely heartwarming experience. It is amazing to see how happy the children are when they receive their gifts, knowing that it is directly from the parent in prison.” All in all, the juniors and seniors did indeed help to spread the Christmas spirit to all.
The Angel Tree Program has been an ongoing tradition at St. Lawrence Seminary High School. This program allows the children of the incarcerated to receive Christmas presents on their behalf. The students, at St. Lawrence, assist in making this program possible. They help with writing cards, buying gifts, wrapping gifts, and delivering the gifts to the Angel Tree participants. Although it was hard work, the Angel Tree Program did fulfill its purpose, the purpose of bringing happiness to the children of the incarcerated and the great feelings it brings to the SLS students, faculty and staff during the most wonderful time of the year. The Angel Tree Program turned out to be extremely successful this year, bringing Christmas joy to all those involved.
St. Lawrence Seminary is an all boys Catholic boarding school located in Mt. Calvary, Wisconsin. We welcome students from Minnesota, Illinois and across the United States. Inspired by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the example of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Lawrence Seminary provides a residential college preparatory education in a living Catholic community nurturing mature, well-rounded men of faith. See if St. Lawrence is right for you and your son.