Angel Project, Elder Tree angels available for adoption

BY STAFF REPORTS
11/11/2018 02:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH – With the Cherokee Nation’s Angel and Elder Angel Tree projects in full swing, people have the chance to make others’ holiday seasons more cheerful.

Rachel Fore, Indian Child Welfare administrative operations manager, said the Angel Project’s purpose is to “provide hope in the form of gifts.”

“As a Nation, we want to help provide for our most vulnerable people, our children,” she said. “Having presents to open at Christmas can provide hope for our Cherokee children and that is why myself, my Angel Project team and many volunteers work so hard during this time of year.”

At 1,584 angels on the tree, Fore said it’s “important” to come together to help these children.

“As a community it is important that we come together at this time of year to show our Cherokee children that they are a blessing and that their tribal community will provide for them when needed,” she said.

To adopt, Fore said people can take angels off the tree at the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex or email angel-project@cherokee.org to request angels.

When picking an angel there will be a list of needed items and “wants” the children may have. If people wish to donate money instead of picking an angel they can. Fore said people wishing to donate should visit https://secure.cherokee.org/OnlineGiving/Donations/create and choose the “Recipient as Angel Tree” option. She said people have until Dec. 15 to do so.

“All donated money will be used exclusively to shop for angels who are not provided for,” she said.

Fore said gifts for adopted angels must be returned to Cherokee First in the complex by Dec. 7.

Fore said people could also volunteer to help shop for children or work at the warehouse. If people wish to volunteer they can send an email to angel-project@cherokee.org and put “Volunteer” in the subject line. Please include dates/times available for volunteer hours.

Crystal Thomas, Elder Angel Tree coordinator, said this year has proved to be the largest number of elder angels received since the program’s 20011 inception.

Thomas said 385 elders became available for adoption on Nov. 6.

Thomas said offering the Elder Angel Tree is important because not all elders have family or receive something special during the holiday season.

“If it wasn’t for the Elder Angel Tree they wouldn’t get a gift, and we feel like everybody needs a gift at Christmas,” she said.

When adopting an elder, Thomas said there are lists of items for his or her “needs” and “wants.”

“A lot of them want socks and underwear. Some have hobbies that they want gifts for,” she said. “If on the needs list it’s something that we can fix with one of the programs, then of course we refer them.”

Elder angels can be chosen at the Human Services office in the complex or by emailing crystal-thomas@cherokee.org. Gifts must be returned wrapped or in gift bags by Dec. 7.

For more information, call Thomas at 918-453-5627.

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