The fifth annual Angel Tree event is underway at the Vancity savings credit unions in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
In the lobby of the Maple Ridge branch, at 22824 Lougheed Highway, is a Christmas tree decorated with paper angels by students at Meadowridge School.
On the back of each angel is a child’s name, if they are a boy or a girl, and their Christmas wish list.
The children’s names are gathered by Cythera Transition House Society, a non-profit organization that provides services to abused women and children.
Vancity is looking for people to pick an angel and fill a child’s wish list with unwrapped gifts by Dec. 10.
The gifts will then be wrapped and delivered to Cythera House in time for the holidays.
“It helps children who are least able to help themselves,” says organizer Gina Rubin. “They are going through a tough time. So, it’s all the more reason to give hope and help.”
To date, 190 children in the community have been helped by the Angel Tree program.
In Pitt Meadows, at the Meadowtown shopping centre, organizers Shelagh MacGregor and Jayne Perrault have their tree decorated with 73 angels, up from 60 angels from last year.
“We had a huge response last year,” says Perrault. “We had people coming in and asking for angels, but we ran out.”
This year they asked for more angels and already they have had donations.
“We had a customer come in yesterday and give us $50 and asked us to do the shopping because he didn’t have time,” says MacGregor.
All of the children’s wish lists are organized by the food bank, but the branch will be collecting non-perishable food items, lightly used clothing and cash donations as well.
People are asked to pick an angel and bring the unwrapped toys back to the branch by Dec. 15.