As children, the presents under the tree were measured by the seemingly infinite depth of Santa's red toy bag. Now those presents are measured by the depth of our parent's pockets, and sometimes they're about as deep as a faux pocket on jeggings.

Ball State has been working with Delaware County Department of Family and Children's Services for 25 years and has partnered with organizations on campus to help alleviate the cost of Christmas on families. Student Voluntary Services is one of the organizations that helps brings Christmas to those who don't have the financial means. 

This year, SVS received 338 angels for their Angel Tree — more than they've received in the past.

How To Get Involved

  • Adopt an angel from the Office of Student Life. Student Center, Room 133.
  • Donate to the Angel Tree fund. Student Voluntary Services Office. Student Center, Room 136.
  • Help wrap presents on Dec. 5 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Student Voluntary Services Office. Student Center, Room 136.

“In years past, they’ve had not even quite 200 ornaments, and they’ve gotten maybe 150ish out and then ended up having to find other accommodations for those other 30, which has usually looked like raising money and spending that money," graduate assistant for SVS Steven Scally said.

RELATED: Students buy gifts for 'angels' in area

Scally said that while it's always the objective to help as many children as possible, getting all the ornaments out was a priority this year.

"This year, our goal was to get all the ornaments out if we could, and it looks like we may do that. But I will say that we ended up with way more ornaments than what we were expecting. We were expecting about 200 and we ended up with almost 350,” Scally said.

Although the influx of names wasn't anticipated, students and members alike came together to support the Muncie community — support that became evident when all 338 angels were adopted. 

"Angel Tree impacts the lives of children and families all over Delaware county by providing gifts to families that would not be able to afford them otherwise," secretary and program coordinator Emily Lawhorn said in an email. "These gifts aren’t just toys, either. They are necessities that children will need throughout the year, like clothes and shoes."

For some, like Angel Tree committee co-chair Larissa McFarland, getting involved reached beyond the Muncie community.

“When I was 15, my family was placed on the Angel Tree list; we were really struggling," McFarland said. "I have two siblings, my mom's a single parent, and we just couldn’t make it that year."

Due to the connection McFarland has with the project and community service, she's taken on 10 angels this year with help from her family. 

"I have a Facebook page that’s just my family back home and everybody. I asked them all for donations and based on how much they have pledged to me, basically I’ve taken that many kids," McFarland said. "So, I’m responsible for 10, but I’m not buying 10 on my own."

Aside from her personal experience with Angel Tree, McFarland stressed the importance of getting involved with a community-centralized project.

“For me, I feel like a lot of times the students, the demographic of Ball State, we kind of get into this bubble where we forget that the outside world exists and to be reminded that even something as small as going to buy a gift can impact the community around us, I think it really kinda brings us all back to the outside world," McFarland said.