NASELLE — As the Christmas season of giving approaches, local angels are at work and plan to have the “Angel Tree” up and adorned with tags by the day before Thanksgiving.
This year, the Angel Tree will be in the lobby of the Naselle Timberland Library. Each tag displays a wish list from a local area child whose family is experiencing difficult economic times. Members of the community may then select tags, purchase and wrap the wished-for items and place them under the tree at the library.
The Library is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., on Fridays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Saturdays, 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.
This is Debbi Littlefield’s 20th year of involvement in the Angel Tree program. She is joined by angels Sheryl Waisanen and Marsha Woods. The trio is hard at work contacting families in need and obtaining wishes from the children.
According to angel Littlefield, “We call the parents and ask for the wish list for the kids and make sure we get the right names, sizes and ages, and then we ask if the child has a favorite color. That way if the requested clothing item comes in different colors, the buyer can select an item in a color the child really likes. Each child gets to create two wish lists. One for clothing and accessories and the other for toys or fun things. Sometimes the older kids get gift cards so they can pick out their own clothes. The program is open for children in need from newborn through high school seniors who live within Naselle-Grays River Valley School District. Every donation we receive, whether its gifts in response to the tags or money, goes directly to the children and the families. If sufficient monetary donations allow, we divide it up and portion it out among the families in the form of money or gift cards to Okie’s.”The trio point out, “We also do not have any overhead. We do not have a bank account. We do not have extra cash reserves. Any money that people donate goes directly toward the gifts or the food. It is not used for stamps, letters, phone calls, gas or anything like that. Thank you notes are sent out to all the people who take tags off the tree. We keep a master list of who they are unless they wish to remain anonymous.”
The number of families and children served by the program varies from year to year and is somewhat dependent upon the economy. On average, the program provides needed Christmas assistance to 17 families and 40 to 45 children each year.
The three ladies truly deserve the title of “Angels.” Through their efforts, children of families- in-need enjoy the thrill of opening their special presents at Christmas, donors enjoy the true Christmas spirit of giving and, in that way, the community is moved a little closer to heaven.