Cranbrook’s second annual Angel Tree program for those ages 50+ is currently underway.
Laurie Harris of Better at Home explained that the community-driven program helps people who need a little extra “merry” during the holiday season.
“The angel tree program is for people who may not see a gift under the tree on Christmas morning,” said Harris, adding that the idea sparked though a Paying it Forward group on Facebook.
Many care homes in Cranbrook have angel trees for their residents, but there was no option for people living in their own homes.
“That’s Better at Home’s mandate; we do just that,” Harris said. “We try to help people to stay in their homes safely and comfortably as long as possible. Many people are isolating at home right now and won’t be able to be with their families this Christmas. We want to be able to extend a little extra Christmas spirit and kindness.”
Harris explained that Save On Foods is the home for the tree itself, while there have been many other elves materialize to help collect, wrap and deliver gifts.
Although the goal of 100 gifts for this year has already been surpassed, nominations and donations are still being accepted.
The deadline for nominations is Monday, December 7, however, Harris explained that if there are a few late nominations they will try their best to accommodate them.
Anyone ages 50 and over can nominate themselves, as well as friends, family members, doctors, caregivers, etc. Nomination forms are available through the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce, Save On Foods and Cranbrook Family Connections.
“There is certainly room for more [nominations], in fact, we can’t seem to keep the angels on the tree. As soon as they go up, they fly right off,” Harris said. “That just goes to show how wonderful this community is.”
Last year’s angel tree program successfully delivered gifs to 79 people. Harris says gift requests come in all shapes and sizes. Many people will ask for a gift card, while others ask for things like books, puzzle books, pyjamas and slippers.
So, for those who would like to give a gift through the angel tree program, how does it work?
Simply head over to Save On Foods and choose an angel card from the tree. The cards are anonymous, but give enough information to buy a gift. For example it will have the age of the person, their size (small, medium, large) and three things on their wish list.
Purchase one or all three things on the list and bring them, unwrapped, to the Cranbrook Chamber or Cranbrook Family Connections. The deadline for gifts is Monday, December 14, 2020. Volunteers will wrap and deliver the gifts in time for Christmas. If there are no angels left on the tree, donations through Better at Home are welcome.
“We really have a wonderful community,” Harris said, “and we hope we can brighten the day of some well-deserving people.”
Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.