The Central Jersey Council traces its Angel Programs roots back to the early 1990s. At that time Jack Leslie, a past Life Member of the Council, began purchasing individual gifts for the children of crew members from the USCGC Katherine Walker.
As time passed and the crew size increased, the responsibility to provide gifts passed to all council members. Beginning in 2004 the Angel Program increased to include the USCGC’s Bainbridge Island and Sailfish. In this spirit, the Council’s Angel Program officially started.
The Angel Program seeks to place a toy and warm article of clothing in the hands of an enlisted persons child. Prior to Superstorm Sandy, gifts were provided to children from all units and commands from US Coast Guard Sector New York and Naval Weapons Station Earle.
Any excess toys or clothing that was collected was donated to ‘in need’ children in the Central Jersey Area. In 2011 this program collected, sorted, packed and delivered 1684 gifts. Since 2004, the Angel Program has collected, sorted, packed and delivered over 10,000 gifts.
Since its inception the value of this program is now approaching $500,000 with all of it coming from donations and support from civilians and local businesses. Since Superstorm Sandy in 2012, the Angel Program has never regained its ability to provide gifts to units beyond our adopted bases and cutters.
This year the Angel Program hopes to deliver gifts to the following Cutters and Commands
NAVAL WEAPONS STATION EARLE
US COAST GUARD ANT NY
US COAST GUARD CUTTER HAWSER
US COAST GUARD CUTTER KATHERINE WALKER
US COAST GUARD CUTTER LINE
US COAST GUARD CUTTER SHRIKE
US COAST GUARD CUTTER SITKINAK
US COAST GUARD CUTTER STURGEON BAY
US COAST GUARD CUTTER PENOBSCOT BAY