For the fourth consecutive year, members of the community rallied to gather gifts for the angel tree program that benefits elderly residents in Carbon and Emery counties. Local residents flocked to the Notre Dame Hope Center for many days to select ornaments from the tree. Almost 500 ornaments adorned the tree, which will ultimately benefit nearly 170 senior citizens. All of these ornaments were claimed by Friday, leaving the empty tree a welcoming sight to those that organize the program.
“The outpouring of generosity from the community is amazing,” said Nancy Labahn, who started the program four years ago.
Labahn was prompted to start the yearly event following the passing of her son. In search of something to fill her time and provide a beneficial distraction, the angel tree program for the elderly was born.
“There are many of our elderly in both Emery and Carbon counties, who have very little to brighten their days,” Labahn said. “This makes such a difference in the lives of many.”
The program has grown each year, taking on more angels each year. In turn, volunteers, gifts and generosity continue to grow as well.
“We had people coming in even after all the ornaments had been taken,” Labahn said. “So some people donated money, others donated extra items. We live in a very generous community.”
With all of the ornaments selected, wrapped presents were delivered in droves as members of the community brought their donations to the Hope Center. However, the work is not over for the many volunteers that aim to bring holiday joy to elderly residents.
Beginning on Saturday, Dec. 15, eager elves will begin delivering the presents to local senior citizens. Those wishing to volunteer their time delivering Christmas joy can do so by calling (435) 637-1846 to sign up as one of Santa’s helpers.
“And you get a free elf hat,” said Labahn.