While they’re pretty to look at, pocket-sized paper angels decorating Christmas trees inside Langley’s two Envision branches and at its regional office will appear even more attractive in the hands of generous people.
As of Wednesday, the angels representing children and seniors in need filled the branches of a tree positioned near the reception desk at Envision’s Willoughby branch.
Branch manager Nikki Barrett would love to see a barren, green tree by next Saturday, Dec. 8, the deadline for donors to return the angels with an unwrapped gift or nonperishable food item.
“We don’t want to see an angel standing,” she said. “We want this tree to be bare.”
You don’t have to be a member of Envision to visit its branches at Langley City (20627 Fraser Hwy.) and Willoughby (20193 64th Ave.), or its regional office (6470 201 St.) and participate in the Angel Tree program.
“Anybody can come in,” Barrett said.
Through donations of gifts and food, the Willoughby and Langley Envision branches are supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Langley, the Langley Senior Resources Society, and the Gateway of Hope.
Envision’s regional office is supporting the Langley Christmas Bureau, Langley Senior Resources Society, and the Gateway of Hope.
At the Willoughby Envision, the staff Christmas party is scheduled for Dec. 6, and that’s usually when employees step forward with donations.
“What we’ll see, typically, is the staff really focusing on that date, bringing in their presents just right around the deadline,” Barrett said. “Some staff will be taking three or four angels.”
Barrett plans on taking four angels, just as she did last year.
“What I do, typically, is take [an angel representing] a teenage girl and a teenage boy, and a senior lady and a senior gentleman,” Barrett said. “Lots of people contribute to the babies and their kids, but it’s the senior and the teenagers [who also need gifts].”
Envision is very committed to giving back to the community, according to Barrett.
“I really see, especially with some of our younger staff, it’s really important to them, and they love the fact that Envision is so committed to giving back,” she said. “They are very committed to volunteering and helping out.”
She saw a “real uptick” in donations on Nov. 27.
“It’s pretty exciting,” she said.
Business hours for the Envision branches in Langley City and Willoughby are Monday to Thursday, 9:30 to 5 p.m., Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
On the south side of 64th Avenue, directly across from the Willoughby Envision, the Langley Advance has an angel tree, offering the same opportunity for people to make Christmas merrier for others. The Advance is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Envision is also supporting the program through YouTube, the popular video sharing website. For every view of Envision’s Angel Tree video, Envision will donate $1 to the program and its community partner throughout the region. The goal is to reach 10,000 views.
To view the website, log on to YouTube and type in “Help us raise $10,000 for Angel Tree!” As of Wednesday morning, Nov. 28, the video has had close to 1,200 views.
About angel tree
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.
Envision Financial manager of corporate citizenship Susan Byrom said that by participating, “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,” Byrom added.