Do All Angels Have Wings and a Halo?
By Jim McGrane
Typically we think of angels as the image of a human figure with a halo and wings. It is a common belief that an angel is a kind and lovable person that manifests goodness and selflessness. For a moment however, I would like for you to think of an angel as not always having that halo and wings.
For the past 35 years, I have worked at Helena Middle School. In 1989 a colleague, Marcia Wall, established a Fund to help students that needed things like winter clothing, school supplies, and the opportunity to participate in field trips. In 1998, this program would take the name we know today, The Angel Fund. During this time I have seen first-hand the benefit of The Angel Fund many times over. When you see the glow of pride and excitement on the faces of kids walking into the school with that new article of clothing, or their own collection of school supplies, you will never forget that moment. Many times I have seen tears of appreciation welling up in the parent’s eyes, not able to find enough ways to say thank you for helping them provide for their child. The Angel Fund has given many of our students, in all of the Helena schools, this opportunity.
Just what is The Angel Fund? Eileen Elias Freeman, the author of Touched By Angels & Angelic Healing: Working with Your Angels to Heal Your Life, said, “Angels come to help and guide us in as many guises as there are people who need their assistance. Sometimes we see their heavenly shadow, bright with light and radiance. Sometimes we only feel their nearness or hear their whisper. And sometimes they look no different from ourselves.” The Angel Fund is about Helena families. It is your colleague, your neighbor, the business person, the employee, it is us.
Over the years, I have witnessed angels from this community coming forward with donations. Some come from people making crafts and giving the proceeds from sales. Some donations come in the form of countless volunteer hours, organizing events like “Stuff the Bus” and “Running for Montana’s Future Race.” We also receive generous cash donations from community members that have experienced success and wish to share. You see, it really isn’t the size of the gift that matters, but the size of the heart that gives it.
At the time of this writing, Angel Fund has helped nearly 800 Helena students. That’s almost $95,000 contributed by Helena citizens and in turn, spent in our community. Our budget is 825 students and $107,250. In addition to helping students with school clothing, The Angel Fund will award up to five Montana post-secondary scholarships ($1000 each) this spring for Helena graduates planning to continue their education. All the money contributed to Angel Fund stays in Helena and helps our community.
Helena is truly a very special community. I am proud to work, live, and raise a family in a community that is filled with such caring people. Yes, those lovable, caring, people that manifest goodness, selflessness and not a wing or halo in sight. Helena is Angel Fund at its finest!
Your continued support will allow Angel Fund to keep putting smiles on faces. Our address: The Angel Fund, P.O. Box 7436, Helena, MT 59604 and we can be found on the web at www.angelfundhelena.org. Thank you Helena and I wish you the best during this holiday season.
Be an angel to someone else whenever you can, as a way of giving thanks for the help your angel has given you. Eileen Elias Freeman
Jim McGrane is a school counselor at Helena Middle School and serves as one of 25 Angel Fund Coordinators in our public schools. Angel Fund is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Corporation and a United Way agency (published in the Helena Independent Record, Your Turn, December 11, 2012).
How to Donate
Your contribution allows The Angel Fund to continue helping children in the Helena School District. For more information or to make a donation:
Contact Janet RiisTo make an online donation, please use the button provided below.
P.O. Box 7436, Helena, MT 59604