Little paper angels, hanging off trees at Envision Financial branches across the Lower Mainland, as well as at the Langley Advance, represent people who could use some Christmas cheer this holiday season.
Envision Financial, in partnership with the Advance, is launching the Angel Tree program for a third consecutive year.
All Envision Financial locations, as well as in the Advance's office, are displaying decorated Christmas trees with angel ornaments, each representing a child, youth, or senior in the local community.
People are encouraged to take an angel from a tree, and return it with a new and unwrapped gift to any participating location by Dec. 8.
All gifts and/or cash donations collected will be delivered to a local non-profit agency or Christmas bureau.
In addition to selecting an angel off each tree, starting this year, people also have the option of selecting a tin can ornament off the tree, and returning it with a non-perishable food item or cash donation.
"The statistics really speak to the need for this program," Envision Financial manager of corporate citizenship Susan Byrom said. "One in five children in B.C. live under the poverty line and this year alone, B.C. food banks served over 28,000 kids. That's why we are so proud of our Angel Tree Program."
Byrom said that by participating, local "residents have the opportunity to make the holidays brighter for families, children and seniors in our communities.
"In 2011 our Angel Tree program gave 600 Christmas gifts to residents in our local communities and this year we want to give even more."
This year, Envision has created a video to share the message of the Angel Tree program which can be viewed at www. youtube.com/envisionfinan-cial. For every view, Envision will donate $1 to the Angel Tree program (up to $10,000) which will then be distributed to the program's community partners.
In 2010, four Envision branches participated in the Angel Tree program to provide new, unwrapped toys to children in the Delta and Surrey communities. In 2011, this annual holiday giving program expanded to include 15 branches supporting eight communities.
This year, all Envision branches will be participating in the program and notably, Angel Tree has been expanded into the Okanagan, Similkameen and Thompson valleys and will be supported by Valley First, Envision's regional partner.