Emmanuel Christian raises $1,800 for Salvation Army Angel Tree program

‘Loving and compassionate’ community credited for helping kids.

Emmanuel Christian Academy raised $1,800 for one of the Springfield Salvation Army’s Christmas programs.

The academy held its annual Madness in the Den event that includes volleyball and basketball. Two-hundred attended, and each entry was by a donation.

“(It) allows us to bring our ECA family together to support a wonderful charity. In addition, it connects our high school students with fun and competition while also allowing the opportunity to recognize our winter sports teams,” said Athletic Director Rick Herring.

All money raised at the event went towards the Angel Tree program at the Springfield Salvation Army.

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The Angel Tree program helps ensure each child in Clark County will have presents on Christmas. Families can sign up their children and Angel Tree tags are generated for them. Those tags then go out to the public, hanging on trees at local stores and restaurants. Community members are encouraged to pick a tag, shop for the child and return the gifts to the Salvation Army.

Ryan Ray, development director at the Springfield Salvation Army, said last year they served over 3,000 kids and will serve nearly 2,000 this year.

“This can’t happen without a loving and compassionate community like the one we got,” he said.

The winning volleyball and basketball team will get to use the money they raised and shop for 30 children for Christmas on Nov. 24.

“Supporting the Salvation Army Angel Tree this year gives our families and students the opportunity to serve in the community. This event provides an opportunity for our students to give back by serving and shopping for presents for others in the community who are in need,” Herring said.

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Ray said an event like Madness in the Den is “everything” to the Salvation Army.

“Kids helping kids. I noticed the joy on so many faces, as they cheerfully gave. It really felt like they got it, like they fully grasped the reality that 30 kids would have a great Christmas because of what they just did,” he said.

Herring said this event started in 2018, but the academy was not able to host it in 2020 due to the pandemic. In 2018, they donated to Vets For Motocross, and in 2019 to ECA missions trips to the Dominican Republic and Mexico.

“We are always encouraging our families and students to be involved and to be a light to the community. Hosting Madness in the Den is one of those ways that we can be a light while also giving back to the Springfield community,” he said.

Ray said he hopes what the Academy did inspires other schools, organizations and businesses find ways they can contribute to help the Salvation Army.

For more information or ways to help, contact Ryan Ray at 937-244-5262.

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