Angels in PRC: Local toy drive prepares for Christmas tradition

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, November 17, 2015

angel tree ride 1 web

BIKERS UNITED: Bikers prepare to ride during last year’s motorcycle run to help the local angel tree program. File photo.

The local angel tree program will once again help spread Christmas cheer to hundreds of children in the community.

Jane Manuel coordinates the Angel Tree Prison Fellowship Ministry program every year. She, along with First Baptist Church of Carriere, the Blue Knights Mississippi Chapter IX and donors in the community, provide Christmas gifts to children of incarcerated parents.

Members of the ministry have made Christmas wishes comes true in Pearl River County for the past 35 years. Last year, they gave gifts to nearly 600 children, Manuel said.

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“Children need gifts for Christmas and we’re going to help one child at a time to make sure they receive them,” Manuel said.

The program is co-sponsored by the Blue Knights Mississippi Chapter IX.

David Ervin is the president of the organization. About four years ago, Ervin teamed up with the ministry to host the first motorcycle run to raise money for the program.

“We felt like it was a worthy cause. We want to help children and provide them with Christmas even if they have a father or mother, or both, in jail,” Ervin said.

The fifth annual Angel Tree Motorcycle Run will be held on Nov. 21. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the ride starts at 10 a.m. at the First Baptist Church of Carriere, located at 7264 Highway 11.

The event is open to the community and costs $20 per rider and the cost includes lunch. Proceeds are donated to Angel Tree ministries. Coffee and breakfast pastries will be provided for early arrivals. After the ride, which is estimated to last two hours, lunch will be served in the church’s fellowship hall. Lunch will cost $10 per person for non-riders, Ervin said.

The motorcycle run began its first year with eight participants and grew last year to around 50 riders.

“It seems the number of needy families grows every year, so the bigger we grow, the more we can help,” Ervin said.

Manuel said she’s appreciative of the support from the community.

“It makes you feel good to help people, and with the church’s and community’s support, we all work together to help those children,” Manuel said.

The money raised during the run will allow the ministry to purchase bicycles for the children, Manuel said.

Every year, Manuel writes the child’s wish list on an angel ornament and hangs them on trees that will be placed in local businesses, including Claiborne Hill, Walmart, Highland Community Hospital and Central Baptist Church in McNeill. Printed on the angels are the child’s name, clothing sizes and Christmas wishes.

For more information about the program or the motorcycle run, contact Manuel at 601-798-6301 or through email at