Nici Ethelston and Dawn Hamilton hang tags with needy children’s names on this year’s Angel Tree at the Coast DI.

Be an angel this Christmas

Hundreds of parents are hoping the community’s generosity will help make this Christmas a little bit brighter

Wanted: Christmas angels to shine down on Campbell River children this holiday season.

Hundreds of parents are hoping the community’s generosity will help make this Christmas a little bit brighter.

The names of 360 children will be hanging on a tree set up in the lobby of the Discovery Inn, starting this Friday.

It’s part of the Downtown Business Improvement Association’s Angel Tree which the community has been eagerly anticipating.

“The staff (at the Discovery Inn) have been taking several calls a day from people asking ‘when’s the tree going up?’ They’re getting calls daily wondering when it’s going to start,” says Dawn Hamilton, Angel Tree co-ordinator.

The Angel Tree, which goes up every year, is there for those in the community to come and select a tag hanging from the tree which identifies a child’s age and gender, their needs and their wants. The cards identify basic needs such as toiletries and diapers for the babies as well as jackets, socks and underwear.

The tags also list the child’s wants which typically include toys, colouring books, or games – depending on the age of the child; the children range in age from birth to 18-years-old.

It’s up to the donor to then purchase what they can from the items listed on the tag, which go towards a vulnerable child in the community.

Hamilton says the children are selected by social organizations within the city.

“The worker identifies the family in need,” Hamilton says. “This is a sort of last resort for families and often this is their only Christmas gift they’re going to get.”

Once all of the donations are returned, unwrapped, to the Angel Tree, volunteers sort through the items, wrap them, and turn them over to the local agencies to be delivered to the children in time for Christmas.

Hamilton says donations of cash, new toys, books, socks, jackets, puzzles, diapers, clothes and gift cards in small denominations are also welcome for those who would like to participate without selecting a tag.

The Angel Tree begins Friday, Dec. 4 at the Coast Discovery Inn from 4 to 9 p.m., and is open Dec. 5-13 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with the exception of Dec. 11 when the tree runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.