ALEXANDRIA, La (12/02/10)…Every year at this time, Angel Trees appear in malls, churches, and other places people gather all over the United States. And—the trees all have one thing in common—the hanging tags represent thousands of individuals who may not otherwise get anything for Christmas.
If you are not familiar with the Angel Tree Program, here’s how it normally works:
- Individuals select one or more hanging tags (or ornaments) from the tree. Each tag has a specific gift request. Some tags identify whether the gift is for a male or female and the age of the intended recipient
- The individual then purchases the item and returns it to a drop off point (usually the same location)
- Then, on a specified date, all gifts are collected and distributed to designated recipients
Did you know that there are many different types of Angel Tree programs?
For instance, one Angel Tree program, sponsored by the Salvation Army, was created in 1979, and is one of the Salvation Army’s highest profile Christmas efforts. Another Angel Tree program helps provide gifts for children of incarcerated parents.
The list goes on and on, as does the need for these programs, many of which are sponsored by various organizations in cities and towns across the United States. In some cases, the requests aren’t just for children—sometimes the tags include requests for seniors.
The recession that our country is emerging from isn’t over—there are still thousands of individuals without jobs, and/or the prospect of obtaining one, which translates into families making the tough choice to forego Christmas in order to provide food and shelter for their families. To compound matters, if our government does not extend Unemployment Benefits for those still unemployed, the situation can only worsen.
Working together, we can all help make Christmas better for everyone. If you haven’t already done so, please take a moment to consider selecting one or more tags from an Angel Tree in your area. Your selfless choice could just make Christmas a little more special for someone else.
Like all the individuals and organizations highlighted in this column, The Angel Tree programs and those individuals who donate time, money and effort in cities and towns across the United States to make them work, saw a very specific need, found a way to work together to meet it, and in doing so, truly Teamed Up For Success.
Carla’s fourth novel, Artful Misdirection, is currently available in Kindle format on Amazon.com. A native of Louisiana, she is also a contributing writer for Out and About Louisiana, and works as the Director of Web Content for Cenla Advantage Partnership, a nonprofit organization, funded in part by The Rapides Foundation. She can be found on Twitter, Facebook, Blogspot and LinkedIn.
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