LIFT-UP delivers Angel Tree gifts to 551 area kids children
LIFT-UP’s Angel Tree gift program helped brighten holidays for many area children last week.
A total of 551 children from 200 local families received Angel Tree gifts in Glenwood Springs on Dec. 12. Other area distributions will take place on Friday and Saturday.
The gifts were distributed at the Glenwood Springs Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. According to local coordinator Janis Taylor, there were 19 Angel Trees on display in the Glenwood area since the week before Thanksgiving. Each tree was managed by a family from the church, who put up the tree, hung the Angels and transported the gifts back to the church. They spent the past two weeks organizing for Saturday’s distribution. “People really put a lot of time and energy into this,” she said.
Taylor, who moved to Glenwood Springs with her husband in August from St. George, Utah, said “being new here, it was a great way to get involved with the community.” She told a story about a woman who had been helped by LIFT-UP a few years ago after her husband passed away. “She wanted to do something special for the kids this year to show her appreciation, so she made a stocking for each child with their name written in glitter – more than 500 stockings. It was so touching,” she said.
Despite a weak economy, more than 1,500 gifts were distributed on Saturday.
“As we were getting things ready, I was really amazed,” said Angelle Weller, a volunteer with the program. “People really went all out for the children, providing two or three gifts for each child – really nice presents like bicycles and MP3 players,” according to Weller.
Overall, about 50 Angel Trees were located throughout the region. Other area Angel Tree gifts and Christmas food box distributions will be held this Friday in Rifle and Silt, and on Saturday in Carbondale, Parachute and New Castle. Gifts for approximately 3,000 children will be distributed by LIFT-UP this year, and holiday meals will go to about 1,500 local families in time for Christmas.
Most of the Angel Tree gifts and holiday food items are donated by members of the community, but LIFT-UP purchases gifts for any unclaimed Angels, and buys meat vouchers and any needed food items for the holiday meal boxes. Those wishing to support the programs may make secure online donations at http://www.liftup.org or send contributions to P.O. Box 1213, Glenwood Springs, CO 81602.
“I continue to be amazed by the generosity of our communities,” said Mike Powell, executive director of LIFT-UP, “and I’m grateful for the tremendous support we’ve received during this year of increased need. The assistance comes from the community, and LIFT-UP is just the tool they use to help their neighbors. That’s really what LIFT-UP is all about.”
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