As is customary in the 95361, over 230 children in the community awoke Christmas morning to presents they may not have had otherwise, thanks to the Oakdale Center for Human Services’ Angel Tree project.
“Every ‘angel’ was adopted,” CHS Program Director Tamberly Stone said.
“Get Fit Oakdale was the super star. They kept taking all of the angels that didn’t get adopted and filling the needs up until the day before we started distributing,” she continued about the local gym.
Get Fit, along with several others, were first time participants of the annual event, which proved to be beneficial to Stone and her CHS team.
“We did not fall short in any area,” she shared.
Stone noted this as one of the many things which makes the project special. Children are gifted with clothing, as well as toys, pajamas and other necessities.
“Every year I get nervous,” she confided. “Every year I pray that all the needs will be met and magically they all are.”
In addition to the Angel Tree recipients, Stone and her team also serve those in need through Santa’s Workshop and pajama collection boxes. They also managed to have two families adopted this year by Soroptimist International, Oakdale and River Oak 4-H.
“We have the most giving community in the world,” Stone said. “It’s absolutely heartwarming.”
In total, Stone estimates that more than 350 children benefitted through the selflessness of community residents, noting that many tears were shed by herself, as well as her staff as they recognized the continued success and support from the community in the event’s ninth year.
“We couldn’t do it without all our Angel Tree sites and the amazing residents who shop for all the sweet angels,” Stone concluded. “We are grateful.”