Residents give generously to ‘angel’ program

It was another successful year for the “Adopt an Angel” program, run by Family and Children’s Services here to provide Christmas gifts for children in foster care and in voluntary services.
Jacquee Loerzel, a family service worker at FACS, said about 95 children from across Rainy River District will receive gifts through the program.
“We’re really pleased with the response from the community,” she added.
A Christmas tree was placed near the entrance inside Wal-Mart, decorated with paper angel ornaments each representing a child receiving services from FACS.
Each ornament had a name written on it, as well as the age of the child and an idea for a Christmas gift.
Customers could choose an angel from the tree, purchase a gift or gifts for the child, and then leave them at Wal-Mart, where they are picked up and distributed by FACS.
In addition to gifts for each angel on the tree, Loerzel said they received additional gifts this year as well as cash donations.
OPSEU Local #739 donated $400, for instance, and Fort Frances High School donated $50.
The money will be used to top up some of the gifts, and also may be used to buy teddy bears and blankets for children when they first come into the care of FACS.
“We’d like to give a big thank you to Cindy [Kellett], the manager at Wal-Mart, and a huge thank you to everyone who helped the program out and bought for the kids,” Loerzel said.
Other FACS staff also were important in making the program a success, including Becky McClain and Fort High co-op student Jessica Shoemaker.
This was the second year FACS ran the “Adopt an Angel” program after last year’s resounding success.
“It was amazing how much it’s grown in the last year,” Loerzel noted.
The gifts currently are being distributed to families in time for Christmas.