This archived article was written by: Austin Ashcraft
“What do you want for Christmas?” This question sparks wonder and wishful thinking into the heart of every child. And this year, the Angel Tree Project, headed up by Keera Allred, is helping to make those wishes come true.
The Angel Tree Project is an initiative sponsored by the United Way that helps underprivileged children receive a gift for Christmas. “I just think about how I would feel if I didn’t get anything for Christmas,” Allred explains. “I would be devastated. I think that every child should get something for Christmas.”
Allred’s love of service began when she was young. “I remember my mom would take me to visit an elderly lady in my neighborhood. I never really thought of it as service. I just loved going over and spending time with her.”
That love, forged years ago, is apparent in Allred’s involvement in the Angel Tree Project. “When you think about what these kids ask for, it is something like a shirt or a coat. It’s little things that so many of us take for granted. If I want a new shirt, I just go to the store and buy one. It really makes you appreciate what you do have.
“I love the feeling you get when you help somebody,” describes Allred. “Just knowing that you made a difference in someone’s life, even if it is not something big. It’s amazing to see the look on their faces when you just give them a little attention. I look at my own life and realize that what makes my day is when people spend time with me. It makes such a difference. ”
The Angel Tree will be in the JLSC outside of the Bookstore. Those wanting to help can come and get an angel tag from the tree, and on the back will be written the age and Christmas wish for a child. You would then go to the store and purchase the item, and bring it back to the SUN Center (JLSC 207).