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Angel Tree spreads joy throughout Eielson

Posted 12/12/2012   Updated 12/12/2012 Email story   Print story

    


by 2nd Lt. Elias Zani
354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


12/12/2012 - EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaksa -- When thinking of the holiday season, thoughts of friends, family, food and gifts often come to mind.

Eielson's Angel Tree Program, which runs through Dec. 17, aims to help make these thoughts a reality for families that might not be able to partake in simple holiday pleasures.

Ran by the Eielson first sergeants, the Angel Tree Program is designed to help Icemen by providing toys to children of families in need of financial assistance.

"The goal of the Angel Tree Program is that every child has an enjoyable Christmas," said Master Sgt. Anthony Floyd, 354th Maintenance Squadron first sergeant and leading member of the program.

First sergeants select those in the Eielson family who are in need of assistance and submit their names to the program.

The childrens' names, along with more specific information such as their age, gender, interests and hobbies, are written on a paper angel and placed on the Angel Tree in the Base Exchange. From there, anyone on base is welcome to select a child and purchase gifts for them, leaving them at the BX.

The program wishes to strengthen the Iceman community by relieving some of the tension and financial burden that can accrue during the holiday season, enforcing the importance the Air Force places on the idea of family.

"The Angel Tree Program is designed to support the whole Eielson family, not just military members," said Floyd.

The Angel Tree Program is one aspect of Operation Warm Heart, a program that, much like the Angel Tree Program, is responsible for assisting Iceman families in need of financial relief.

"Operation Warm Heart helps provide money to those who need it," said Floyd, adding that it helps relieve the stress of the holidays, so they do not have to try to take out a loan.

Donations can be dropped off with any first sergeant or at the BX through Dec. 17.

"Programs like the Angel Tree Program show people that we care and we just do the best we can to be there for others," said Floyd.

For those who are not able to financially support the Angel Tree Program, volunteers are needed to wrap presents Dec 20th at 8 a.m. For more information, contact Floyd at 377-5279 or your unit first sergeant.



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