‘Angel Tree’ lifts spirits

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Alexis Long

Student Life Editor

With plenty of holidays coming right around the corner, the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Tyler Junior College looks to give back to the community through “angel trees”.

“We put up a Christmas tree during the holidays and on each ornament we place items that are of need for people in the community who are maybe not so well blessed during these holidays and are in a little bit of extra need,” said Student Occupational Therapy Association Vice President Saci Davila. “Here at TJC or in any community, we can collect these items and give them out to people who are needing them in the community just as a little giving back during the holidays.”

The trees will be set up in various locations around TJC’s main campus for a month, starting on Nov. 10 through Finals Week.

“We’re hoping to get as many donations as we can before the semester ends and before it gets too close to the holidays,” said Department Chair for the Occupational Therapy Assistant program Elizabeth Olivier.

According to Davila, although this is the second year for the program to host the angel tree event, the program has seen a “massive donation turnout”.

Davila adds that TJC’s Physical Therapy program may be involved as well as the Baptist Student Ministry and she and Olivier hope to get a tree set up in Pirtle.

During last year’s angel tree event, Olivier said that the event helped Grounds for Justice, a non-profit organization that helps support victims of sex trafficking. Olivier adds that the event is also great for those who sometimes get overlooked during the holiday season.

“There are many angel trees across the Tyler community that are geared towards providing families and children and of course that’s a wonderful thing to do, but there are folks who are living in nursing homes in the community that don’t have family near by and don’t really get remembered in the same way during the holiday season,” said Olivier.

Not only will the event look to help people in need, but pets as well. The program will work to get a donations list for Pets for People and O’Malley Alley Cats.

“We would just like to encourage anyone to get involved. They don’t have to be a part of these organizations to donate. Any time someone sees one of the trees, all they have to do is choose an ornament off the tree,” said Daliva. “It will be labeled with an item and they can just go to Wal-Mart or wherever, purchase that item, and then put the tag on it and turn it in to donation box that will be next to the tree.”

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