15.9% of the population in Tulsa county is below the poverty line, and many families are not able to afford Christmas presents for their children. Angel Tree is a program set up by Collinsville student Olivia Duncan and her mother, Aimee Forman, to help solve this problem.
The purpose of Angel Tree is to serve children in need at Jones Elementary in Tulsa, where Forman is a social worker at, through the giving of gifts during the Christmas season. She saw many of her students’ families not being able to afford Christmas presents for their children. Duncan then took action and shared with the Collinsville High School Student Council the need of the students at Jones Elementary and planned a drive to collect gifts for Jones Elementary.
Duncan said she has personally been able to speak with some of those children, saying “They are so incredibly sweet, and to know that these presents made them so happy. It’s a good feeling.”
Duncan also said that the program makes a large impact on our school, “…you really see like all the students coming together to get the presents and to wrap the presents, and you see everybody get excited. So that’s really good to know that we’re all working together to help people.”
“Here at school, I’m just so thankful that we have a group of kids and a group of teachers that are so passionate about giving back, and it makes me thankful to be from Collinsville and be part of this community,” said Laura Sheehan, STUCO adviser, who believes the program has a significant impact on our community.
STUCO President Seth Boomer believes the Angel Tree program “…gives us an opportunity to be generous to others who are underprivileged.” He went on to describe about how we can take the things the program provides for granted and how the program was great for providing for those people in need.
The present drive at Collinsville High School collected a total number of presents of 188 gifts.
“ …It was so nice to see how generous people were,” said Duncan, “There are certain kids that…got stuff they not only wanted but really needed and so to know they’re being taken care of and getting to enjoy their holiday season like all their friends, that’s so exciting.”
The Angel Tree program was a successful program. The help it provides for less fortunate members of our community is priceless, and the spirit of giving warms up the winter season with a little Christmas cheer.