WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A department store chain that helps spread holiday cheer to children, the elderly and military veterans needs some help.
Boscov’s annual Angel Tree Program is lagging behind with two weeks to go until Christmas Eve. Eyewitness News Reporter Mark Hiller looks at the reason why and how you can help.
Mary Eileen Lindbuchler checked out a tree on Tuesday that didn’t require watering at Boscov’s in Wilkes-Barre.
“I see the tree and I see there’s so many tags on,” she said.
But what’s called a Boscov’s Angel Tree does need some tender, loving care which is why Ms. Lindbuchler plucked a pair of tags from a tree designated for kids in Children and Youth Services protective custody. She bought pajamas to provide comfort for two kids.
“I love little children. They’re in my heart and soul,” said the Wilkes-Barre woman. “I want all children to be happy.”
Four different Angel Trees are located throughout the store with tags suggesting gifts for children in need, older adults living alone, and military veterans in skilled nursing facilities. But some might go without, in part, because of a shorter than normal holiday shopping season.
Boscov’s Regional Public Relations Manager Irene Kelly said, “That one week that we’re missing, the fifth week, is huge… makes a huge difference.”
The program relies on customer foot traffic to purchase gifts and let recipients know they’re not forgotten. What’s touching about the tags on an Area Agency on Aging tree is really how simple those requests are. One from Cheryl wants a neck massage pillow, another one from Diane asks for a jigsaw puzzle and one from Christina requested a flameless candle.
Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center Psychiatric Nurse Cathy Kurtz witnesses first hand the power of a basic gift like socks, gloves or a hat for fellow veterans she serves.
“It might be the only gift that they get so they really do cherish that. They really do.”
It’s why Ms. Kelly is calling all angels.
“Just think about these people who get nothing, almost nothing, and have no one, that you’re going to put a big smile on their face.”
The gifts can be bought anywhere but need to be brought back and wrapped for free at Boscov’s. They’re picked up and distributed by groups representing each tree.
The program continues through Friday, December 20th at Boscov’s Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Pottsville and Hazleton area stores.