Tiny paper angels have helped make life a little merrier for those needing some Christmas cheer over the holiday season.
Through Envision Financial's Angel Tree program, more than 600 gifts have been donated to children and seniors in need across the Lower Mainland.
The program, launched in partnership with JoyTV and The TIMES' sister paper, the Langley Advance, saw 15 Envision branches display a decorated Christmas tree with angels that represented a child or senior in each community.
The public was invited to take an angel from the tree and return it with a new, unwrapped gift. The response was tremendous as hundreds of gifts were collected and distributed to 11 charities across Metro Vancouver.
Angel Tree gave the Ridge Meadows Envision the opportunity to line up with its poinsettia tag campaign, another community support function that the local credit union is doing with the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation, branch manager Jeff Knutson said.
Thanks to the generosity of clients and visitors to Ridge Meadows Envision, 15 presents were donated to the foundation, which proceeded to deliver them to patients at Ridge Meadows Hospital.
Gifts ranged from a comfort blanket with a novel for a senior gentlemen to toys for young patients of a variety of ages.
"I think the campaign went great," Knutson said. "Support from the community is common in these parts, and the amount that was given made a difference for those in the community who are less fortunate."
Knutson said this year was the first of what he hopes will be many Angel Tree campaigns at Ridge Meadows Envision.
"Hopefully we will capitalize on this campaign and start it a little sooner next year," Knutson said.
Ridge Meadows Envision is also a significant contributor in the poinsettia tag campaign.
Up until Christmas Eve, local businesses across Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows are selling poinsettia tags for a $2 donation.
Through the campaign, which started in late November, the local Envision branch has raised $800 (as of press time), with a goal of generating $1,000 for the cause.
"I think we'll be hitting that goal," Knutson predicted.
The credit union's goal is to be the No. 1 fundraising business in its region. To date, the campaign has raised more than $40,000 to purchase urgently needed equipment for Ridge Meadows Hospital.
You can purchase poinsettia tags in support of the hospital at Envision Financial, A&W, BMO Bank of Montreal, Coast Capital Savings, Cooper's Foods, Good Company, Haney Dragon Restaurant, Home Restaurant, Royal Bank (224th Street and 207th Avenue), Rona Revy, Save-On-Foods (227th Street store), and the Pitt Meadows and east Maple Ridge Shoppers Drug Mart locations.
Meanwhile, Ridge Meadows Envision employees are volunteering around the community.
Employee Shanna Boss recently joined firefighters outside of Mark's Work Warehouse as they raised funds for the Friends in Need Food Bank.