Angel Tree program brings joy to Hill military families

  • Published
  • By Donovan Potter, 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

HILL AIR FORCE BASE – Volunteers at Hill Air Force Base helped provide the children of its military families a memorable holiday season through its annual Angel Tree program.

The Angel Tree was created by The Salvation Army in 1979 to provide clothing and toys for children at Christmas through the support of community donations.

At Hill AFB, the chapel facilitates the event each year. However, the program is organized and run by military and civilian volunteers from the base and local community.

First sergeants generate the Angel Tree cards by anonymously nominating military families from the base. Names are then placed on an Angel Tree tag at the base chapel and at Exchange with the children’s ages, clothing sizes, and Christmas gift wish lists.

This year, 222 military children from 108 families received Angel Tree gifts. Volunteer Angel Tree coordinator Geri Carrier said the Hill AFB community continues to be very generous.

“It’s truly amazing,” Carrier said. “Kind-hearted people donated more than 1,000 gifts, including toys, clothing, diapers and gift cards.”

Carrier said included with their toys and clothing items, most children also receive pajamas socks and underwear.

“I know, these are the dreaded gifts for the kids, but they really need them and the parents really appreciate them,” she said.

On distribution day, volunteers sorted and fixed wrapped packages that got poked by fingers during handling and then filled the chapel's pews ready to distribute the gifts to the base's first sergeants for delivery.

Looking around the chapel at the gift-filled pews, Carrier said, “I’m always in awe of the kindness and generosity of people. I look forward to this every year. It really is my Christmas and I will do it as long as I’m physically able.”