Western Courier

WAVE to host Angel Tree program

Emily Stieren, Assistant News Editor

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Western Illinois University’s All Volunteer Effort (WAVE) is joining forces with the Salvation Army to give students the opportunity to provide gifts to children of all ages this Holiday season with their Angel Tree Program.

 Participants can purchase items for the age groups 0 to 24 months, 3 to 9 and 10 to 14 years old. All donations must be turned in by Dec. 12 at 4:30 p.m. to the Office of Student Activities (OSA).

 To take part in this generous program, everyone is welcome to take a paper angel, which represents what age group to buy for, off one of the trees in the University Union.

 “The trees are donated to us by the Union, so it’s actually a giant collaboration event,” said WAVE advisor and graduate assistant Enrique Boche. “The Union, volunteer programs, OSA and the Salvation Army are all involved in this program. People just need to come, register at the service desk down stairs (of the University Union) and bring their gifts later. After the 16 days, Salvation Army comes and picks up the toys, and they get them out to the kids that usually wouldn’t get them.”

 According to Boche, the Angel Tree program allows students and other participants to fully realize the significance of giving to those in need, especially during this time of year.

 “I think the main purpose of this program is to give during the Holidays,” Boche said. “I think a lot of people take their children to get tags so that they understand the importance of giving to someone, especially to someone less fortunate than themselves. It can be a big learning opportunity.”

Boche said that most Western students do not notice the hardships residents face, even in the small city of Macomb, so it is important to contribute to the cause.

 “Our community is small, and I think the students don’t realize the homelessness and poverty that happens in this town,” Boche said. “There is a lot of it. It’s just that we don’t see it on this side of town. I think this is a big opportunity for students to say, ‘I’m doing something, I’m helping and I see that this is an issue. That there are needy people even in such a small town like Macomb.’”

 The Angel Tree Program is open to everyone to participate. Last year, there were 120 donations to needy kids in the area, and the committee is hoping for an increase this year. Boche said that the program makes it easy for college students to donate.

 “I think students should take the time to participate,” Boche said. “It’s simple, it’s fast, you don’t have to spend a lot of money and you’ll really be helping someone, a child, who really would not be able to get presents any other way. Our culture is so materialistic, and I think we need to step back from that and realize that there are people who don’t have the things that we have. We need to recognize our own kind of privilege and help someone else in need. That’s one of the biggest things this program can do and does do for the campus community.” 

 For more information regarding the Angel Tree program, visit OSA or contact them at OSA@wiu.edu.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
WAVE to host Angel Tree program