“Angel trees” make Christmas wishes come true for Lucas Co. foster kids

“Angel trees” make Christmas wishes come true for Lucas Co. foster kids
Published: Dec. 15, 2021 at 5:50 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 15, 2021 at 5:55 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Christmas is right around the corner, and there are still some children in Lucas County without gifts under the tree. But there’s still time to make a child’s Christmas wish come true.

Lucas County Children Services (LCCS) is stuffed to the brim with Tonka Trucks and Barbie dolls. “This is how the community shows its love. This is how the community gets involved in the well-being of children, particularly those who have been victims of abuse or neglect,” says LCCS director of communications, Julie Malkin.

LCCS has already collected more than 12,000 toys for the county’s foster children. “Many of these children would not otherwise have gifts at Christmas,” says Malkin.

But kids need a lot more than toys, and that’s where Angel Trees come in. The two trees at the Franklin Park Mall are covered in tags. Each has a Christmas list for a child in need.

“Clothes, gloves, scarves, hats, some things that kids might not be able to collect from a toy drive, but they really do desperately need, and would be happy to get,” says the mall’s marketing director, Julie Sanderson.

You can grab a tag, shop for the child right at the mall, then drop off the gifts in the collection center at the food court. Most of the 300 tags have been claimed, but a few remain hanging in the final days of the drive. Organizers have faith that the people of Lucas County will not let the kids down.

“If they believe in Santa, Santa will have come,” says Malkin.

“It humbles me and it overwhelms me, but it doesn’t surprise me. The generosity of our shoppers and our community, when there’s a need, they step up,” says Sanderson.

The Angel Trees will be at the mall through Friday, December 17th.

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