Angel Tree Telephone Team Instructions 2022
Some of this new for 2022
You should have a PDF file in your email with the information for each of your assigned families and their children. Please remember that all information provided is private and confidential. Do not share information with anyone except the Angel Tree Coordinator. Do not give Caregiver information to the Alternate contact or vice versa (you can mention names but do not share address or phone number – it’s okay to ask the Alternate Caregiver for better contact information for the Primary Caregiver).
Children are identified by a hyphenated number. The numbers to the left of the hyphen are the family number while the numbers to the right of the hyphen represent the child within the family. (Example Child 12-2 is the second child in family 12). Please use these numbers when referring to a family or child. Use the printouts listing the family and child information sent to you via email while making your calls. Please email the results of your completed calls to me each day (completed meaning you contacted the family and got all the information).
Very Important: Email Subject should be VF AT Report and addressed to email@example.com.
Be sure to include the family number, any corrections to phone numbers and addresses and gift ideas for each child by child number. In your email start a new paragraph for each family noting the family number and list any changes to the family information also noting who confirmed delivery (Care Giver or Alternate). Then list each child with the information you gather for them noting any changes from what is on your report. An example is attached.
Additional Children in the household: If there are additional children under the age of 18 in the household that have a relationship with the incarcerated parent, add them to your list with their name, gender, age, relationship to the incarcerated parent and gift suggestions. The child must be either the incarcerated parent’s child, step-child or other relative/child that has been raised by the incarcerated parent. These children will be gifted with a tag from the incarcerated parent so we will need to know how to sign the gift (Merry Christmas, Dad; Merry Christmas Uncle Bill; Merry Christmas; Helen – you get the idea).
Be sure to email results of your calls as you complete them, I need all the time I can get to enter the new data. You are assigned up to six families to contact which should go pretty quickly. Please try to contact and confirm your families THIS WEEK by Friday evening so tags can be made for Sunday, Nov 20. Tags will go out again on 11/27. If you have a problem call (family doesn’t want to participate, doesn’t want charity, seems to dodge calls, etc) let me know and I’ll take care of that family. All calls need to be completed and results sent to me by Friday, Nov 25.
Start calling your assigned families right away because it may take several attempts to contact them. Best times to call are generally between 4 and 8 in the evening during the week or on Saturday or Sunday mornings after 9 AM or later in the day after 4 PM.
Many of the families will be concerned about privacy and may be reluctant to answer the phone from a number they are not familiar with. I’ve found that texting the families first encourages them to answer their phone when you call. Send a text message to both the Primary and Secondary Care Giver contacts a few minutes BEFORE you call.
Please note: If you enter several numbers into the same text message be sure that you have your text message application set to send individual messages (often described as SMS), not a group discussion (sometimes referred to as MMS) so that each recipient can only reply to you, not the group. The way you set this option varies widely between applications. Look for MMS Configuration or Group Messages or SMS/MMS in the Settings for your text message application. Then look for something about Group MMS and read the information. You want it set so that group messages will be sent as individual SMS to each recipient. If in doubt, send individual text messages.
Suggested text message: “My name is <first name>. I’m with Prison Fellowship Angel Tree at Victory Faith. Your children have been nominated by their incarcerated parent to receive gifts for Christmas. I will be calling you from this number within the next hour to obtain your permission and to go over some details. Reply to this text to let me know if there is a more convenient time for me to call you.”
Start your calls with the Primary Care Giver primary number then secondary number then the Alternate primary number and finally the Alternate secondary number until you get to talk to someone. Your objective is to confirm with the Primary Caregiver. Use the Alternate to help contact the Primary Caregiver. If the gifts are going to be delivered to the Alternate, then so note on your report and confirm the delivery address with the Alternate. Children must be present during delivery. Leave a clear message whenever you can. If you confirm with the Caregiver you do not need to call the Alternate,
Phone Message should include:
- Your name (first name is fine)
- Who you represent – Prison fellowship Angel Tree at Victory Faith
- First time: Why you are calling – “Your child (children) <give children’s names> have been nominated by their <Mother, Father> to receive a Christmas gift through Angel Tree. I’d like to talk to you to get your permission and confirm our delivery information.”
- Second Time: “I’m calling you again to confirm your Angel Tree information.”
- Please return my call at <Call back number>
- Get permission from the Primary Caregiver to deliver gifts.
- Confirm the Delivery Address and telephone numbers.
- Confirm the spelling, age and gender of each child
- Find out if there are other children in the home related to the incarcerated parent.. If so, get their information (age, gender and gift ideas) so we can add them. Ask who the gift should come from. If they say that is not important tell them the gift will come from “Your friends at Victory Faith.” We cannot send gifts from Santa Claus. Note: Added children must be under 18 years of age and have a relationship with the incarcerated parent.
- Obtain gift ideas for each child.
- If Clothing is requested ask for sizes, colors, styles, etc. Size is most important.
- Help the Care Giver with gift ideas – think about your own children or grandchildren.
Keep your call informal, that is, don’t try to read a script but be familiar with the information you are seeking. Use the printouts provided for each family to verify information as you’re talking. When they answer the phone tell them who you are, the reason you are calling and ask them if they have about 10 minutes to talk. Start a conversation to collect the information under Call Objectives above then leave them with the following information:
Leave them with the following information:
- Week of December 19, 2022, they will get another call from the team that will deliver the gift(s) to set a delivery appointment between 10 AM and 8 PM, Dec 19 through Dec 23
- Your child will be an Angel Tree kid until they age out at 18 or their parent is released from prison and will be eligible for the summer camping scholarship program to attend any approved Christian summer camping program in the area including the Victory Faith summer camping program. Scholarships will cover most if not all the cost of camp. Scholarships are available for one day camps and week-long camps. You will receive additional information about this program in the spring. The only requirement is that your child has been an Angel tree recipient in the past and their parent is currently incarcerated.
- Angel Tree Web Site https://www.prisonfellowship.org/about/angel-tree/
- Victory Faith Angel Tree Coordinator name and phone Fred 206/612-3961
- Tell them a little about Victory Faith and invite them to attend.
You may get some push back for various reasons:
- There is a No Contact Order in place preventing the incarcerated parent from contacting the family. Note that on your call records and thank them for their time. If they are interested invite them to Victory Faith. Tell them about The Big Give (bicycles for kids) and how to nominate children on the VF website.
- The Care Giver has decided not to allow contact between the parent and the child. Explain there is no contact involved, just a Christmas present and a message from the incarcerated parent. If they still refuse thank them for their time and invite them to VF. Tell them about The Big Give. If they say they will receive the gift and save it until the child is older tell them, we can’t knowingly do that nor can we deliver it to someone else.
- They may request cash instead. We cannot do that but if they need assistance, we can have another VF team contact them with information.
- Occasionally a family will tell you something like “We are well enough off and don’t need charity, we’re doing fine.” Explain that this is not a needs-based charity. The only requirement is for the children to have an incarcerated parent as of September 1, 2020. Angel Tree is about delivering a message and a gift from the child’s parent to let the child know that they are loved and not forgotten.
- If the Primary Care Giver is just refusing because he/she sounds angry at the incarcerated parent and won’t talk to you, try the Secondary contact if it is another family member like a grandparent. Explain the situation to them and see if arrangements can be made through them. We can set up an alternate delivery location but the child (children) need to be there when the gifts arrive. Be sure to note the cooperating caregiver, telephone number and the new delivery address.
No Contact or Moved out of the area Procedures
- If the phone numbers don’t work (disconnected) let me know immediately and I’ll handle it.
- If you can’t contact the Primary Caregiver and the Secondary doesn’t know where they are, refer the family to me.
- If the information we have is not correct (i.e. neither the primary or secondary contacts know the children) let me know immediately.
- If they have moved out of the Spokane County area get their new, complete address and we will either transfer them to a different church in their area or will arrange for the gift to be shipped to them. If they give you a PO Box be sure to get a street address as well. If the gift is shipped it will be addressed to the child in care of the caregiver.
Last important information:
All the information we have been given or will collect by phone is confidential and should not be discussed with anyone other than the Angel Tree Coordinator. You may talk about things you learned and circumstances that the care givers tell you but DO NOT mention names when you do so. Never give out names, telephone numbers or addresses to anyone even between the Primary and Secondary caregivers. If a Care Giver wants the phone number of the other caregiver tell them you cannot give out that information but if they want you to pass their number on the other caregiver you will do so. INCLUDE in your notes the date, time and who gave you permission to give out their number and to whom.
Completed Call Report
For each family note one of the following:
Okay to deliver gifts
Gifts Refused by Caregiver
No Contact Order in place
No Response (note this after two attempts to call – message left and texts sent)
Example Email text for a completed call. If you format this way and type your information, it will make my job a lot easier to update the databases. Thank you.
Confirmed – Deliver to Caregiver – new address for Caregiver:
2323 E 49th, Spokane; WA
New Caregiver secondary number 509/555-1212
Special Note: works nights. Best to call between 3 and 6 PM
Child 5-1 Wants clothes for her Barbie doll
Child 5-2 Size Children’s Small – Light blue hoodie
Child 5-3 New child not on list. Timothy Smith, Male. Age 5, Arts and Crafts, loves to draw, use same greeting as other children. No relation to inmate but inmate is the only Dad/Mom he or she knows.
Refused to participate. No Contact order in place.
Confirmed – all info is good. Delivery to Care Giver
9-1 Wants anything Mariners size Men’s Medium
9-2 Age is wrong – current age 14 – wants makeup kit or anything for dress up. Favorite color is green
NOTE: Secondary contact asked me to give her number to the Caregiver on 11/5/2019
Caregiver and all the children nominated moved to Denver, Colorado
2121 Main Boulevard
Denver, CO 80209
Cell phone is the same
Told Caregiver we will make appropriate arrangement to be sure the children receive their gifts and to expect a follow up phone call.