Every year, local retail stores and Cyprus Credit Union come together to bring Angel Trees to the Ogden community to give those with a little more the opportunity to give to those less fortunate. The Angel Tree illuminates the atrium of the Shepherd Union at Weber State University.
The tree, placed by students working for the Center for Community Engaged Learning, symbolizes how many children are in need this holiday season. Each tag has a child’s name, age and Christmas gift wish list.
“I believe we have about 35 to 40 angels,” Christyna Cummings, CCEL student representative, said. “All of the angels remaining are on the tree.”
Cummings said she continues to remain hopeful about the number of angels still remaining on the tree.
“In the past years, we’ve had about five to 10 angels left over,” Cummings said. “So my goal this year is to get all of the angels taken care of.”
The Angel Tree in the atrium gives WSU students the opportunity to provide winter clothing, toys and other items to children through the Salvation Army.
“We want to make sure the kids get at least a large toy and a small toy and an outfit,” said Maj. Nila Huttenlocker, Corps Officer and Pastor at the Salvation Army. “[We have] suggestions from parents of what [children] would like.”
According to Huttenlocker, there were 500 tags dispersed throughout the valley, 200 of which came to WSU.
When choosing an angel, students are asked to sign their name and provide an email address.
“You would bring back the bottom part of the tag, along with the gift attached to it and return it to where you got the tag,” Huttenlocker said.
Mike Moon, assistant director of CCEL, believes the tree is a opportunity that all those on campus can take part in.
“It’s an opportunity for our students, staff, faculty and all of the populations we serve to be able to give back in a way that’s really organized,” Moon said.
Lauren Stedbeck, a sophomore at WSU, believes that the tree is an amazing chance for students to give back to the community.
“Although college students can’t afford to feed themselves, it’s awesome to see students taking tags off the tree,” Stedbeck said.
Robert Gordon, WSU freshman, says the tree has now become a family tradition for himself and his family.
“I have two little boys myself and have struggled in the past, so I know what it’s like,” Gordon said.
Students who are interested in choosing a tag for the Christmas season can visit the Angel Tree and sign-in sheet in the atrium.
Students must bring their gifts, unwrapped, with the bottom portion of the tag attached to the CCEL office on or before the last day of fall semester, which is Dec. 11 by 5 p.m.
“We still have [time] to go out and shop. I really hope students pick an angel and support a child this Christmas,” Cummings said.