Angel Trees now grace each of the Envision Financial locations in the area and everyone is invited to drop by to take an ornament or two to ensure a brighter Christmas for the less fortunate.
"The statistics really speak to the need for this program," said Susan Byrom, manager of corporate citizenship at Envision Financial. "One in five children in B.C. live under the poverty line and this year alone, B.C. food banks served over 28,000 kids. That's why we're so proud of our Angel Tree program. By participating, local residents have the opportunity to make the holidays brighter for families, children and seniors in our communities."
The program supports local charities in each of the communities where Envision has locations. In Surrey, the beneficiaries are the Surrey Food Bank and Surrey Christmas Bureau; in Delta, they are Deltassist, Reach Child and Youth Development Society and South Delta Food Bank; and in White Rock, the Sources' Food Bank and the Salvation Army of White Rock/South Surrey. These organizations will then disburse the food and items collected to needy clients. This is the third year for the Angel Trees, an initiative that has grown larger each year.
"In 2011 our Angel Tree program gave 600 Christmas gifts to residents in our local communities and this year we want to give even more," said Byrom.
Members of the public are encouraged to take an angel from the tree and return it with a new, unwrapped gift before Saturday, Dec. 8.
Each tree has ornaments with descriptors of local people, such as "Boy age 12," "Senior Gentleman" or "Girl age 14." The idea is to take one or more ornaments and return with appropriate gifts for each. This year, there are also tin can ornaments to be returned with donations of cash or non-perishable food items.
All of the items and money raised in each community will stay in that community. As well, Envision is aiming to fill 500 hampers through the program.
You can click on a YouTube video put together by Envision about the Angel Tree program, and for each view, the credit union will donate $1 to the program, up to $10,000, which will then be distributed to the program's community partners. See it at www.youtube.com/envisionfinancial.