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Angel Trees have new gift giving options this year

By Maggie Demunda
On November 17, 2016


 There are Angel Trees with tags located outside the
Student Life office in Iowa Hall, Linn Hall, Nielson Hall,
Jones Hall, Washington Hall, Cedar Hall, and in the Kirkwood Hotel. 
Photo by Maggie Demunda.

November, and especially Thanksgiving, signals the beginning of the holiday season for many. Around campus, students, faculty and staff have probably seen several Christmas trees pop up but instead of decorations, three different types of gift tags adorn these trees.     

Mary Huffman, Office Assistant in the Student Life and Housing office explained that the trees are part of the Angel Tree Program. “This will be our 20th year working with Tanager Place and normally we would have individual tags for the children who are there. You would then pick up whatever was on their list. This year we are doing things a little differently,” she said.  

Instead of having individual tags with a list of gift ideas, each of the Angel Tree tags has a website on the back ( The website provides a list of gift ideas for children at Tanager Place and those who choose to participate in the program can either purchase gifts or give a monetary donation.

Huffman said there are two additional giving options this year. The first is the Shop with a Santa Cop, where participants are asked to write a check payable to the Cedar Rapids Police Association. According to the website, the police will then use the money raised to take underprivileged children, identified through local community agencies, shopping. The child will be able to buy a winter coat, boots, hat, gloves and a toy or two. Additionally, to teach the kids the importance of giving as well as receiving, they are also instructed to buy a present for their parents.

The other giving option is through the Willis Dady Emergency Shelter. Huffman said, “We have had people in the past talk about helping a shelter. And, I have been working with someone who used to work at Kirkwood who now works at the shelter, so we started with them.” The Willis Dady tags have a list of items that those in the shelter have identified as needs. Participants can choose one or two items or more, said Huffman.

All gifts should be returned unwrapped to Huffman in the Student Life office no later than Dec. 2. "This gives Student Life time to get the gifts to the appropriate agency and for the agency, in turn, to wrap them," said Huffman.

The trees are located in Linn Hall, Nielson Hall, Jones Hall, Washington Hall, Cedar Hall, in the Kirkwood Hotel and outside Student Life in Iowa Hall.

Huffman added, “I just hope everybody takes a minute to at least look at what we’ve got and if they feel it in their hearts to please assist us in these programs so we can make this work. And I always say that, you know, not only will you warm the heart of a child, it kind of warms your own heart, too.”

For any questions, please see the website,, or contact Mary Huffman in Student Life. 

There are three types of tags on the Angel Trees this year. 
Angel Gifts tags are selected in order to buy gifts for children between the ages of 2-17. 
Shop with a Santa Cop Tags are selected to contribute a monetary donation to the cause.
Willis Dady Emergency Shelter Tags are selected to buy gifts for those utilizing the services at the shelter.
Photo by Maggie Demunda.


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