‘I, too, am an Angel’ tree grows big in community
by JOYANNA LOVE Banner Senior Staff Writer
Dec 24, 2013 | 1020 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tiffany Wood
Tiffany Wood
Women Helping Individuals to Excellence members concerned about making Christmas special for children have seen a successful year for their first “I, too, am an Angel” Christmas tree.

Being a blessing to the community is at the heart of the Christmas project.

The tree featured 40 children’s names and lists of wants and needs. All of them were spoken for by Dec. 1.

“It’s overwhelming. I was almost in tears,” Tiffany Wood of W.H.I.T.E. said.

She said the response from the community was amazing.

The tree was on display starting in October.

While some thought it was early to be putting up a Christmas tree, Wood didn’t agree.

“I leave my tree up all year round,” Wood said.

She said she wanted to make sure the community had enough time to get gifts for the children.

“They range from age one to our oldest was 19,” Wood said.

Each child had an ornament on the tree.

Gifts were delivered back to Wood on Dec. 20. A reminder was sent to participants to bring in the gifts.

Children were selected for the tree from referrals in the community.

“Once we got all the applications and every application that was received (by the deadline) was accepted,” Wood said.

Wood said the Department of Children Services submitted 10 children for the tree.

Wood said she also checked with others in the community doing trees to try to ensure that the children on W.H.I.T.E.’s tree at Omega Salon were not on other trees.

Applications asked for the child’s name, age, favorite character and color as well as anything special they wanted for Christmas. Clothing sizes were also asked.

Today, those children will receive their gifts.

While many of the children were in need, the group also chose a few middle-income families that are active in the community.

Wood said they wanted to be a blessing to these families as well.

W.H.I.T.E. began meeting to share their knowledge of succeeding in life with young people, according to Wood.

Wood hopes to have an “I, too, am an Angel” Christmas tree every year.

“I think it is something that we need to do annually,” Wood said.

The tree is the group’s first community project. However, plans are already in the works to host an essay contest during prom season. Winners will receive assistance with hair styling, makeup and paying for a dress for prom, if all goes as planned.