Angel Tree event aids families in need

Student Government's Angel Tree, located just inside the Meridian Ballroom. 

Student Government’s Angel Tree invites sponsors to help bring gifts to children just in time for the holiday season.  

Junior biomedical science major and External Affairs Officer of Student Government Matt Butler, of Alton, Illinois, says the Angel Tree event is hosted by Student Government every year in association with the Salvation Army to help produce Christmas for families in need.

“We partner with the Salvation Army, who really runs the event, but we get a listing of children from the local community whose families apply through the Salvation Army who maybe have a fixed income or may not have the income necessary to produce Christmas for their kids,” Butler said.

Names of children are then placed on the tree, which sits just inside the Meridian Ballroom. Through the help of the Salvation Army, people can adopt or sponsor children by picking their name off the tree. From there, they are given the necessary information to purchase gifts for the child.  

“So, by adoption, they are sponsored by a particular person, student, [or] whomever may wish to do it, and that person would get a list of their age, clothing sizes and at least three presents they may want for christmas, and that person would be able to go out and buy specifically that gift or those gifts for that child,” Butler said.

After children are sponsored, the presents are wrapped and then given to the families when meet back at SIUE on Dec. 1.

“It’s kind of an all day event; we invite all the families that were sponsored by SIUE to come here to the Meridian Ballroom to have a little party for their kids. We have a number of events that range for children of all ages that are sponsored to kind of distract them,” Butler said.

After parents arrive, they have a chance to take the presents out to cars or wherever necessary.

“So, the point is they come, we have this party for them, we distract them and give them an opportunity to have fun and relax, and then while the kids are distracted the parents will be able to come collect the presents, hide them away in their cars while their kids are playing, and that way they can take them home, wrap them themselves and then have Christmas for their kids,” Butler said.

Junior secondary English education student Micaela Maco, of Sedalia, Illinois, has seen the signs for the Angel Tree and finds it cute but wishes more people knew about it.

“I saw a sign outside of their office. I remember talking about it briefly in a Sigma Tau Delta meeting we had … I think it’s really sweet. I wish there would’ve been more talk about it, because I think it is really cute, and it will really help kids with their Christmas season and stuff,”

Junior computer science major Samantha Roth of Collinsville, Illinois, also thinks it is a good idea, but had no idea it existed previously.

“I’ve seen it, but I’ve only seen it passing by Kaldi’s. My mom used to do that that for [Scott Air Force] Base. I think it should be more accessible for everybody … I had no idea it was over there. Something like that benefits other people. It should be more accessible for people who want to be able to give more; maybe it should be advertised more,” Roth said.

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