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Local Organization, Started by MVHS Student, Assists Families in Need

Local Organization, Started by MVHS Student, Assists Families in Need


Nicole Burris

Blue Angel Connect is a non-profit organization that was started in 2016 by Mt. Vernon High School student, Nicole Burris, who was just 11 years old at the time. A blue angel is a flower, while “Connect” represents the connections being made in the community through this organization. The mission of Blue Angel Connect is to help those in need, mainly in Hancock and Henry Counties, and to spread joy to those who are underprivileged. The organization consists of eight members who hold meetings often where they plan for events and fundraisers that will assist the community. 

Blue Angel Connect hosts multiple events and fundraisers each year. The first event that really helped the organization take off is held annually and is called “Holiday Hope”. This takes place every year around Christmas time and is the largest event that takes all year to plan. Towards the end of the year, an application opens where any family who is in need can apply. BAC works with local school counselors, law enforcement and other agencies to ensure that families who are in need and have not been helped by other organizations are at a priority of being assisted. From there, a number of families, varying each year, are selected to be assisted. After the families are selected, Blue Angel Connect members and helpers shop for gifts for them, using money that is sourced almost entirely from generous local business donations. 

For the first four years, the “Holiday Hope” gifts were delivered to families’ homes. Since the pandemic, the event has taken place at the Buck Creek Fire Station. This event never fails to bring a smile to people’s faces. The families being supported are fed a meal and given their gifts, along with a full family meal to take home and open on Christmas day. Santa and Mrs. Claus also make an appearance!

Nicole Burris, says, “The feeling you get when you see the smiles on peoples’ faces is truly unmatched and I’m so glad we are able to help out our community, no matter how big or small the project may be. We really do grow each year with more events and more donations so we can help even more people. At our Holiday Hope event, we have at least a couple families each year that cry tears of joy, and it makes me so happy. I love how we are able to give these families small blessings and I am excited for the day that we can do it on a much larger scale.” 

Eventually, the organization wants to help out more than just Hancock and Henry counties. They currently focus on these counties as they are smaller and often do not get as much assistance as larger, neighboring counties.

Blue Angel Connect

New this year, Blue Angel Connect is hosting a “Dinner with CHiPs” event where attendees can meet Erik Estrada and Larry Wilcox from the T.V. show CHiPs.

Also new this year, they are hosting a backpack giveaway for those who struggle to purchase school supplies. To support or learn more about Blue Angel Connect, visit