Tree helps to brighten holidays
The Angel Tree at St. Mary’s Hospital and Clinics brightened the holidays for 30 families and 72 children in our community. Nine children of NICI inmates and the Pregnancy Center received gifts as well. The Angel Tree project is coordinated by the SMHC Mission Committee.
“I thought this year might be a bit different than in years past,” said Cheri Holthaus, Mission Committee member. “With our difficult economic times I was thinking our requests would far outweigh our contributions of gifts and food, but we received more donations this year than ever. The people in our area are just amazing. We received over $1800 in financial donations which allowed us to purchase additional food items and provide presents for every single tag on this year’s tree.”
The Prairie High School shop class also donated a wide array of home made gifts including children’s toys, fishing pole racks, picture frames and mirrors. Students from PHS and two children of employees also volunteered their time to help load the food baskets and gifts.
According to Holthaus, when one father came in to pick up his food box and gifts he said his children had decided to donate their gifts back for other kids who may need them more. “We told him that kids like that, who were so willing to give, deserved to keep their gifts. We explained that we had received such generous donations that all the children would be very well taken care of,” said Holthaus. “He had tears in his eyes when he left. It was one of the most moving moments I’ve had since we began our Angel Tree project. It wouldn’t have happened without so many caring people in our community.”