Winter Park: Cooper Creek Angel Tree helps Grand County children
Warm clothes, boots, food, and some toys are the kinds of wishes that hang from the Angel Tree at Cooper Creek Square. Each card that hangs from the tree represents one of Grand County’s children from families struggling financially and unable to provide any kind of Christmas presents this year; many living paycheck to paycheck.
“This year is especially hard for families with the economy the way it is,” said Marie Hedrick, Marketing Director at Cooper Creek. “We’ve had more cards on the tree this year than in the past and the cards aren’t leaving the tree as fast either. Both possible signs that people are hurting.”
The Angel Tree began about seven years ago as a way to help local children in the community during the holidays. Each year, sponsoring agencies, groups and individuals provide a list of children from struggling families. Each child has a card that goes on to the tree with their “needs” and “wishes”. It’s completely anonymous and no names are exchanged, which is an added benefit for those families who are too proud to ask for help.
“It’s a perfect way for a family to do some holiday giving together,” said Hedrick. “And, there’s nothing that makes you feel the holiday spirit more than helping out those who need it.” Organizations and groups are encouraged to take a card together.
This year, over 160 cards were added to the tree, compared to 130 last year. A little over half the cards have been filled, many still remain on the tree. The youngest children seem to go first, leaving the teenagers dangling.
“You can give a little or a lot, every gift counts,” said Ron Jones, managing partner of Cooper Creek Square. “We try to make sure that every child receives something for the holidays.”
The Angel Tree provides a vehicle for Grand County residents to help their own community members. With Christmas quickly approaching, the need to fill the remaining cards is becoming more important with each day.
Those interested can stop by the Angel Tree at Cooper Creek Square, located between Mountain Grind Coffee and Bistro and Cascade’s Cabin. The drop off date is Monday, Dec. 22, however, if you’d like to take a card and get it in before Christmas, please call Marie Hedrick at (970) 726-8891, ext 21.
“We just want to make sure these kids have something under the tree this year.”
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