Family and Children Services here is hoping the community will help make Christmas brighter for children in need as the “Adopt an Angel” campaign kicks off for its seventh holiday season.
So far there are 134 “angels” looking to be adopted this year, noted Jacquee Loerzel, referring to the program which aims to ensure there will be a present under the Christmas tree for every foster child or child in need being served by FACS across the district.
To participate, the public can drop by either Wal-Mart in Fort Frances or Tompkins Hardware in Emo, where Christmas trees decorated with angel ornaments have been set up.
Each angel ornament has a “fake” name for a participating child, along with their age and gender.
Items which the child would like for Christmas also are listed (organizers ask that the angels not be removed from the store).
After selecting the gifts at the store, they can be brought to the cashier for purchase. Then the gift and angel will be stored in a safe area at the store until a FACS volunteer or worker picks them up.
The gifts then will be delivered to the respective families for the children before Christmas Day.
“Both Tompkins and Wal-Mart have been amazing over the past seven years for us, and we really appreciate all that they do for us,” stressed Loerzel.
“We also like to thank the community . . . for keeping the program going and for making it so wonderful every year, as well,” she added.
While there are 134 participating children so far, Loerzel said there usually ends up being 150 angels looking to be “adopted.”
She encouraged the public to participate as it is charity that goes towards children within the community and the district.
“It’s not a charity that’s leaving our area or leaving our town. It’s supporting our own,” she remarked.
“And I think that’s really important that we continue to help those kids that live right here in our community.”
While Loerzel has been on board organizing the “Adopt an Angel” program from its beginning, this year she is handing the reins over to Debra Bruyere, who is with the development services program at FACS.
“Jacquee has done a wonderful job and I hope that I can carry the torch,” said Bruyere, adding that Loerzel still has been helping her out to get things organized.
Monetary donations also are welcome, and will go towards gifts for children this year and next year.
Anyone with questions, or would like more information, is encouraged to contact FACS by calling 274-7787.