Donors step up for Community Center of Hope’s Holiday Angel Tree program

HOPE – While the outcome was uncertain less than a week ago, all 69 children currently registered for the Community Center of Hope’s Holiday Angel Tree program will receive gifts this Christmas.

Families needing assistance had until 5 p.m. Friday to sign up for assistance. Center executive director Chelsea Warriner says she anticipates a few more children will be added early the following week. In the past, the Holiday Angel Tree program has served as many as 100 children, and as few as 60, she said.

Done in collaboration with the Flat-Rock Hawcreek School Corp., Angel Tree provides assistance to parents who can not afford Christmas presents for their children.

On Monday morning, the center’s Facebook page stated there were still 26 angels left, with each representing a child in need who has been accepted into the program. That meant 38% of kids accepted by Dec. 4 did not have anyone stepping forward for them to provide them with presents.

But after word was put out through social media, most of the angels were adopted by the end of that day, Warriner said.

A few more donors stepped forward Tuesday, while the last available angel at that time was taken Wednesday, she said.

“Our community is really great about always selecting kids,” Warriner said. “We also have generous donors who donate money to be able to shop for kids, as well. We make sure that anyone who doesn’t get selected still gets items.”

This year, the number of girls being served through the Holiday Angel Tree program outnumber boys by a 2 to 1 margin. But the gender balance changes each year, depending on who registers, Warriner said.

Using a website called Sign Up Genius, donors can find the age and gender of children represented by the angels, as well as gift suggestions from recipients and their families. A link to the website can be found on the Community Center of Hope’s Facebook page.

Donors are asked to spend a minimum $25 on their child, and to have all gifts either wrapped or unwrapped at the Community Center of Hope, 543 Washington St., no later than 4 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 15.

Gifts will be distributed over a three-day period from Dec. 19 to Dec. 21, Warriner said.