According to project organizer Dawn Hamilton, there are still around 100 tags remaining on the Downtown Angel Tree.
“The response has been amazing,” Hamilton says, “but with about 400 tags this year – the most I’ve seen in the 13 years I’ve been involved – there’s still a ways left to go.”
For those who somehow don’t know about the 30-or-so-year-old initiative, the Angel Tree is a Christmas tree that goes up in the lobby of the Discovery Inn, decorated with lights and ornaments just like any other festive conifer. This one, however, is also covered with tags that community members can come remove from the tree.
Each tag has the age, gender and needs of a child in our community who might not be getting any Christmas gifts this year. The person – or family or business or community group – who takes the tag off the tree heads off, shops for the items on the tag and brings them back so they can be given to the child.
Hamilton also reminds people that they are now a registered charity, and as such can issue tax receipts for monetary donations. The team uses those donations to “top up” any tags that went partially filled or to level out the number of gifts being given to multiple children in a family.
The deadline for donations is this Sunday (Dec. 9) at 6 p.m. Volunteers are on site in the lobby of the Discovery Inn from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day until then to take donations from the community.