Prospera Credit Union has collected and organized gifts for youth and families who struggle financially through the Youth Angel Tree Project throughout the past month. Now in its eighth year, the Youth Angel Tree Project makes wishes come true for local youth who are connected to the Youth Resource Centre (YRC) at Archway Community Services. On Tuesday, Archway staff picked up the presents for over 70 youth and started delivering them to their clients.
One of past recipients shared, “Some of us spend Christmas alone, so it means a lot to me to know that someone else cares enough to do that for me.”
Earlier this month, trees were set up at local Prospera branches which featured holiday wishes from the youth. Prospera members, staff and Abbotsford residents purchased gifts for the youth and then Prospera assembled and wrapped the gifts.
“Prospera staff look forward to the Angel Tree program each year,” said Steven Lang, Prospera’s Regional Director for the Fraser Valley. “A lot of the young people ask for items you wouldn’t expect; new shoes or grocery store cards to buy groceries for themselves. By participating in this program, we can make a positive impact on the lives of the youth and their families. We hope to show them the good in others and inspire them to have a positive impact on those around them. Abbotsford is a great city and we want to everyone to feel like they belong here and are a part of our community.”
Some of the youth who receive the presents come from single parent homes or are single parents themselves, are in foster care or have aged out of care and may not have a place to go at Christmas.
“Our youth are not used to getting gifts, so they don’t even know what to ask for most of the time,” said Brandy Sundstrom, a Youth Support Worker at Archway.
“As a program, we aren’t able to buy gifts for our youth, but we know how alone they are, how little they have, and how much little things really do make a difference for them,” shared Sundstrom.
“Prospera makes the Angel Tree happen each year, and it fills my heart with pure joy and appreciation! I am so thankful to all the kind, thoughtful and generous people in Abbotsford who take the time and spend the money to make our youths’ Christmas a better one. Together, we get to put a smile on their faces and in their hearts in what can be such a dark and difficult time for them.”
“By participating in this program, we can make a positive impact on the lives of the youth and their families. We hope to show them the good in others and inspire them to have a positive impact on those around them. Abbotsford is a great city and we want to everyone to feel like they belong here and are a part of our community.”