Students from Langley Meadows Community School are helping make Christmas a little brighter for other kids through colouring and cutting out paper angels.
It may not sound like much, but each of these angels represents a child (or a woman) at one of the two Ishtar Transition Houses. Lindsey Toews, account manager at the Langley Vancity branch, noted the branch has done an angel tree with Ishtar every year since 2001.
“We generally take about 100 angels, mostly children,” Toews said. “This year we had 94 and the majority are children.”
The Grade 2 students from Bonnie Cunningham’s Langley Meadows’s class collected the paper angels, coloured them and cut them out, along with a few other classes at the school. Each angel has information to assist the gift buyer in making purchases.
“We set up the tree the day after Remembrance Day,” Toews noted. “Then we have the kids come in and they actually decorate the tree with the angels.”
Another aspect of the relationship between the branch at Willowbrook Drive and 200th Street and Cunningham’s class is the students’ involvement in fundraising to buy gifts for two of the angels.
The class uses money they earn through doing extra chores are home to buy a gift for the children their two angels represent. Once they tally the money they collect, they will decide what to purchase.
Branch members can go into the Vancity location and participate. Like the kids from Langley Meadows, members simply select an angel from the tree to buy a gift for and return that gift, unwrapped, with the angel attached and place it under the tree.
“They return the gifts with the angel,” Toews said. “Ishtar wraps the gifts for the Christmas party.”
When asked why the local branch continues to choose Ishtar Transition Society as the charity for its angel tree, Toews replied, “There’s a real need there. At that time, [fleeing domestic violence] they really have nothing.”
Gifts are given out by Santa at the Ishtar Christmas breakfast on Dec. 19.
Ishtar Transition Society operates two safe residences for women and children fleeing domestic abuse in the Langley community.