‘Adopt an Angel’ a success yet again

The “Adopt an Angel” program wrapped up its third year yesterday with a Christmas party to celebrate the generosity of district residents.
The program was launched in 2003 by Family and Children’s Services of the Rainy River District to provide gifts for children in foster care and those using FACS’s voluntary services.
“It’s been a huge success,” said Jacquee Loerzel, children’s mental health counsellor at FACS.
This year, about 100 gifts were collected for needy children throughout the district, including Fort Frances, Rainy River, and Atikokan.
For the second year in a row, FACS staff put up a Christmas tree at Wal-Mart decorated with paper angel ornaments. Each angel had the name of a child, the child’s age, and some ideas of what they would like for Christmas written on it.
Customers were encouraged to choose an angel from the tree and buy a gift for that child. They then could leave the gifts at Wal-Mart, where they were picked up by FACS staff.
Loerzel and her mother, June Caul, put the tree up on the afternoon of Nov. 18—and people already were choosing ornaments and buying gifts before they could finish decorating it.
Loerzel said the program is made possible through the generosity of Wal-Mart staff and management, and “above all the citizens of Fort Frances and the rest of the district who contributed to buying the gifts.”
She also thanked OPSEU Local 739 for its monetary donation, as well as the FACS public relations committee and staff for their donations.
M&M Meats and Tim Hortons also provided goodies for the Christmas party held yesterday. Santa Claus himself stopped by to deliver the gifts to each child personally.
In past years, FACS staff delivered the gifts to the children at their homes.
“This is the first time we’ve had a Santa party to give out the gifts,” Loerzel noted. “We’re hoping the kids are as excited as we are.”