LOS BANOS Three Christmas trees in town are decorated with paper angels, each containing a child’s Christmas wish.
In this season of giving, angels are needed to fulfill those wishes.
“Many times the children don’t even ask for toys,” said organizer Martie Lloyd. “They ask for socks, warm clothes and shoes, necessities that we take for granted.”
Last year the Angel Tree project provided presents for about 450 children. Children are selected by school nurses, teachers and staff from the Los Banos Unified School District who know firsthand the difficulties students might be encountering. Some families are struggling with health issues, are single parents or grandparents, or may be just having a hard time, Lloyd added. She also said some fathers, of the children selected, have lost their jobs and some of the children have parents who are incarcerated.
“They need some encouragement,” she said.
Tags are hung on each of the three trees with a name and gift wishes of those in need, along with the child’s age and gender. People who wish to purchase those gifts for the person named on the tag can do the shopping and bring the wrapped gift with angel tags attached by Dec. 20 back to the business hosting the tree.
Hundreds of needy children, from infant through high school, receive Christmas gifts each year because of the community support in this project, said organizer Lloyd.
“I appreciate the time, money and effort people take out of their busy lives to give all the presents,” she said. “I know many volunteers work together to make the Angel Tree a success. It brings me joy seeing the sincere gratitude from those who receive the gifts.”
The trees can be found at Coldwell Banker Kaljian and Associates, 645 Pacheco Blvd.; Rooney’s Liquor, 301 W. Pacheco Blvd.; and Tiffany’s Salon, 932 I St.
Reporter Marina Gaytan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.