The generosity of visitors to the Envision Financial Ridge Meadows branch shone through in a big way over the past few weeks.
Ridge Meadows Envision accepted 51 gifts for its Angel Tree program.
The presents are being distributed to children and seniors staying at Ridge Meadows Hospital over the holiday season.
People taking part in the charity drive are making Christmas merrier for the hospital patients, by taking a paper angel hanging off the tree or along the customer service wickets at the local branch.
Each angel represented a child or a senior.
Members and visitors were encouraged to take an angel and return it with a new, unwrapped gift to any participating branch, including the one at 20133 Lougheed Hwy., by Dec. 8.
This year, Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation once again partnered with the credit union.
This year's gift donations - 28 for children and 23 for seniors - were more than double of what was collected last December.
Gifts included toys, puzzles, crossword puzzles, books, bath products, and chocolates.
As well, seven Envision members shelled out $135 in cash donations and 53 non-perishable food items were collected for the Friends In Need Food Bank.
"It was overwhelming how many gifts we received," Ridge Meadows Envision customer service representative Andrea Jackson said.
"We were very impressed that our members gave back as much as they did. Our members were so generous that I think we're
going to need a bigger tree next year!"
Laura Butler from Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation said that while the lights and sounds of Christmas are joyful reminders of this festive holiday season, "for some people in our community the lights will be flashing from an ambulance, and the sounds will be coming from ventilators and heart monitors."
"Our Angel Tree gifts will be distributed throughout Ridge Meadows Hospital during Christmas. Recipients may be a small child in emergency, a resident in long-term care with no family visiting, or a teen who is visiting a parent," Butler said. "These gifts will add a warm and comforting glow to the season for our patients."
This year's Angel Tree program was a success. In parternship with The TIMES' sister paper, the Langley Advance, all 20 Envision branches had trees. A total of 1,368 gifts, 3,400 pounds of food, and almost $15,000 were distributed to 21 charities throughout the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, and Kitimat.
"We were overwhelmed by the support our Angel Tree program received from members of the community," said Susan Byrom, manager of corporate citizenship at Envision Financial.
"The response far surpassed last year's total of 600 gifts."
Byrom said the statistics "really speak to the need for this program."
"One in five children in B.C. live under the poverty line and this year alone, B.C. food banks served over 28,000 kids," Byrom said. "That's why we are so proud of our Angel Tree program."
This year, Envision has created a video to share the message of the Angel Tree program. For every view, Envision donated $1 to the Angel Tree program.
The video garnered more than 2,000 views, resulting in an extra $2,000 to local charities.
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