The popular Angel Tree that flew around the community this month gathering presents for children and teens in need this Christmas had a personality all of its own.

The popular Angel Tree that flew around the community this month gathering presents for children and teens in need this Christmas had a personality all of its own.

Angel Tree captivates a community

The city's first Angel Tree project was a huge success thanks to the efforts of students, businesses and community groups.

The city’s first Angel Tree project was a huge success thanks to the efforts of Williams Lake students, businesses and community groups, says event organizer and teacher Laura Masini Pieralli.

She reports that it took several groups of student elves to make the 200 ornaments for the Angel Tree.

The unique ornaments were a small token of appreciation for people who generously donated a Christmas gift for one of the boys or girls on the Salvation Army’s Christmas wish list this year.

Each ornament was marked with 2015 and had a tag attached to it with the age of a boy or girl in need along with that child’s wish for a Christmas gift.

During November and December the Angel Tree flew around the community to attend the Medieval Market at the LCSS Williams Lake Campus, to the Earth Friendly Craft event at the Central Cariboo Arts Centre, to the WLCBIA office at the Winter Lights Festival and finally to Canadian Tire in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

Wherever the Angel Tree lighted the ornaments quickly disappeared and in their place appeared gifts that were dropped off at the Salvation Army or the Canadian Tire gift drop box.

The first group of 90 ornaments for the Angel Tree were made at the Boys and Girls Club by students in GROW, Skyline and Transitions and were all taken by Santa’s eager helpers at the tree’s first outing at the Medieval Market.

“Like angels, they flew off of the tree as people were very supportive of the project, and of course, moved by the whimsical, adorable and limited edition ornaments,” Masini Pieralli says.

“The newspaper wrote a fabulous article and Shaw captured the student elves making the first batch of ornaments at the Boys and Girls Club.”

Two more lists of children in need were provided by the Salvation Army and more ornaments were made, this time by two classes at Marie Sharpe Elementary school, who also included personal messages of gratitude on the cards.

“The fact that angel was spelled ‘angle,’ ‘agle,’ ‘anjl’ melted hearts,”  Masini Pieralli said.

“The Angel Tree flew over to the Earth Friendly Craft event where most of the ornaments came off of the tree there too.”

She says people at both events commented on how modest and simple the children’s requests for gifts were: a Barbie doll, makeup, cars, trucks, board games and blankets.

Ornaments for the final list of children in need were made by students in Mr. Benvin’s Lake City Secondary Grade 7 class and travelled with the Angel Tree to the Winter Lights Festival and Canadian Trie.

“The grade 7s really kicked it up a notch with heart warming thank you notes for those who choose to donate, and I watched people take more than one,” Masini Pieralli said. “One family took six!”