YMCA to sponsor Angel Trees to brighten Christmas season for local seniors

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CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — YMCA officials at Mattoon and Toledo locations will sponsor Angel Trees this year to help brighten the Christmas season for seniors in local long-term care facilities.

According to officials, this is the 18th year for the project, which has grown every year since its inception.

“We have been absolutely blown away by the response to our Angel Trees,” said YMCA Membership Director Sarah Dowell. “Not only are the seniors blessed by this project, but the angels tell us that it’s a blessing for them, too.”

Officials said each year, the Christmas trees go up in the lobbies of the Mattoon Area Family YMCA and the Neal Center YMCA during the first week of November. Angel ornaments are hung on the trees, each one listing the gender and age of a senior as well as their Christmas wish list. Most items are in the $5-$20 range, making the project affordable for anyone who wants to give back to a local senior.

“Last year the angels were gone so quickly that we decided to add additional long-term care facilities this year,” Dowell said. “We want to offer the opportunity for anyone to be an angel and would like to participate.”

Dowell said that the Y anticipates serving 200 seniors in Coles, Cumberland and Clark counties this year.
The program serves seniors at Charleston Rehabilitation & Health Care Center, Hilltop Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Mattoon Health Care & Rehabilitation, Odd Fellow-Rebekah Home, Palm Terrace of Mattoon, Heritage Woods of Charleston, Brookstone Estates of Mattoon North, Cumberland Rehabilitation & Health Care Center, Heartland Senior Living and Casey Health Care Center.

Those wishing to support the Angel Tree program can stop by the YMCA location in either Mattoon or Toledo to choose an ornament. For more information, contact Sarah Dowell at (217) 234-9494 or sdowell@mattoonymca.org.

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