GWINN, Mich. (WJMN) – Modeltots, Shannon’s Home Cooking and Dis N’ Dat in Gwinn all have angel trees where people can select a tag and shop for the child listed on it.
Julie Lovelace, an employee for all three businesses, says since COVID has devistated many lives and really impacted the community they wanted to do something special for the children.
“Let’s face it, they’re out of school a good portion of the time, they can’t play with their friends a lot of the time and parents are losing jobs,” said Lovelace. “Income is really tight and so we got together with members of the community, just reached out told them what our ideas were.”
After shopping, gifts can be returned to any of the three locations. They will be keeping track of the gifts with numbered tags and a notebook so that each child gets a gift.
“Each one of these little cards has a description of a child, their likes, their age, their interests, their favorite colors, and so a customer can come in or someone from the community can come in they can pull a tag they can go out and purchase a gift for that child,” said Lovelace.
The gifts need to be returned by December 14, so that they can be wrapped and distributed to the families. On December 20 Santa will pay a special visit to Modeltots.
“We’re going to have little candy canes on the floor spaced out at six feet apart so children and their parents know where to step and how far to keep the distance,” said Lovelace. “And then we have our photographer, Nicole, is going to be taking their pictures.”
Children won’t be able to sit on Santa’s lap, instead, they will sit nearby for a picture and a visit. Pictures shot by a photographer will be $5 each with half of the proceeds going towards adopting a child for Christmas. Children will also get a goody bag with a candy cane, ornament, handmade hat or mittens and a cookie in it.
Lovelace says they enjoy working with people in the community and appreciate the community members that have stepped up to help out. They helped provide Thanksgiving dinners last month; are collecting non-perishable foods now to give to those in need; and on December 22 families with children who signed up for the angel tree will visit Shannon’s Home Cooking to get a stocking, gift and a baked good handed out by very special guests.
“You would think that in times of hardship people would tend to not want to give so much because they would be scared but this community is just different they come out and they give and it’s heartwarming,” said Lovelace.