Eureka Springs students wrap gifts for Angel Tree

Friday, December 11, 2015

When Rachal Hyatt was growing up, her mother told her Santa wouldn't visit if she didn't pick a tag from the Angel Tree. Hyatt, the counselor at Eureka Springs High School, is passing that lesson on to her students today.

For the third consecutive year, Hyatt has asked students in the National Honor Society to help wrap presents for Angel Tree recipients in Eureka Springs. Hyatt said the Angel Tree program takes local students and their siblings in the Eureka Springs School District. This year, she distributed 130 tags at different locations in town.

"We have a few left, but someone has promised to take care of any tags left over," Hyatt said Monday afternoon. "We've never had a year where all our tags weren't filled."

Senior Naomi Floyd described how personal wrapping Angel Tree presents is for her. When she was a child, Floyd said, she received presents through the program.

"I remember there were a couple of years where those were the only presents we had. Coming in here and seeing all these gifts makes me think of my Christmases," Floyd said.

Being able to give back, she continued, feels very rewarding.

"It feels awesome to be able to do it. It's a really good feeling," Floyd said.

Junior Aurora Fields agreed, explaining how important it is for children to have pleasant Christmas memories.

"I know how good it feels when I wake up on Christmas morning and get to unwrap presents, so it's a really good feeling," Fields said.

"Everyone should have that experience," senior Sarah Andress added.

Senior Reggie Sanchez noted that he and his fellow students are setting an example for younger kids to follow. Years from now, Sanchez said, the kids receiving Angel Tree gifts could be wrapping them for others.

"Giving back to the community is a big thing. When we were younger, there were older kids giving back to us like this," Sanchez said.

Floyd credited the Angel Tree program with inspiring charity and kindness in the community, asking people to take part if they haven't already.

"There are families in need in our community, and this is a great anonymous way to give back to them. You can really change somebody's life," Floyd said.

She continued, "People are good. They do good things."

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