By: Lucas Smith
The Angel Tree at Eldercare of Ripley is gaining popularity this Christmas season. People are wanting to give now more than ever. The Angel Tree is not your modern Christmas Tree. Its ornaments are made up of tags with written items on them of what a particular resident of Eldercare might like for Christmas. The Angel Tree has been a tradition for many years, and was started years before its current coordinator, Jennette Reed, began working there.
The Angel Tree was created “so that all of the residents can get something for Christmas. Some residents don’t have any family members to give them anything,” said Reed.
As stated above, all residents receive a present for Christmas. To ensure that everyone gets a gift, the Angel Tree has a tag on it for every single resident at Eldercare.
Reed said, “We live in a blessed community. They make sure each resident gets a gift.”
Churches, 4-H groups, businesses, and individuals have all taken their time and funds to purchase gifts for the residents.
4-H’er Bailey Landfried said, “I do the Angel Tree because it reminds me that the world doesn’t revolve around myself, and that there are so many more people who are in need of care. I got my resident pajamas, fuzzy socks, coloring books, and colored pencils. I also got them lots of candy.”
Gifts listed on the tags are common items such as specific sized clothing, coloring books, cross-word puzzles, lotions, and foods if there are no dietary restrictions. Reed comes up with these items to write on the tags. She is familiar with each resident and knows what they might like or need for Christmas.
The Christmas gifts will be opened on December 22 at Eldercare. Santa and Mrs. Claus will also be in attendance. Employees and families can join in on the fun as well as anyone interested in coming to watch the experience. Club advisor Nikki Atkinson, a teacher at Ripley, and a couple of her students will be in attendance to hand out Christmas cards to the residents.
Senior Katie Sinclair, a student of Atkinson, said “I can’t wait to see the smiles on their faces when they get their gifts.”
As of December 1, there were eight tags left on the Angel Tree. If you would like to contribute, please contact Eldercare at (304) 372-5115 at the Activities Department.
Reed said, “Seeing the residents open up their presents is like watching a child on Christmas morning.”