Cady Arnold, customer service specialist with Prospera, and Archway staff Cassie Coers and Wanda Phillips display the many gifts that were contributed for local youth over the holidays as part of the Angel Tree Project.

Cady Arnold, customer service specialist with Prospera, and Archway staff Cassie Coers and Wanda Phillips display the many gifts that were contributed for local youth over the holidays as part of the Angel Tree Project.

Angel Tree Project in Abbotsford delivers gifts to 70 youths over the holidays

Program of Prospera Credit Union has been running for 10 years

Prospera Credit Union celebrated the 2021 holidays by collecting gifts for almost 70 youths in need through their 10th annual Youth Angel Tree Project.

The program began in 2011 after Prospera met with Archway Community Services staff and realized there was an unmet need in providing Christmas gifts specifically for youth in their communities.

At Prospera’s two Abbotsford branches, tags were hung on trees for people to take. Each tag had a personalized gift suggestion on it for an Abbotsford youth, ranging from work boots and grocery store gift cards to clothes and books.

Once the new gifts were purchased and brought back, Prospera staff assembled and wrapped them. Youth workers at Archway then delivered them to the recipients.

Brandy Sundstrom, a youth support worker with the Archway Youth Resource Centre, said many of the youth are living on their own or are homeless and have nobody to spend the holidays with.

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She said the Angel Tree Project has a big impact on them.

“All of our clients are so touched by the fact that a complete stranger has picked their name and gone shopping for them. Many of my youth end up talking to me about wanting to do the same thing for others when they get older and have money,” Sundstrom said.

She said they are grateful for Prospera’s generosity and the joy it brings to their clients each year.

“This is our favorite time of the year as we get to deliver the gifts and see the youth light up with excitement,” Sundstrom said.

Kristyn Thomson, manager at Prospera’s Abbotsford branch, said the Angel Tree Program is something that employees and members look forward to every year.

“A lot has changed in the last 10 years, but our commitment to local communities has not,” she said. “The holiday season is supposed to be a joyous time, and we hope we were able to make it a bit happier for those involved. Between the pandemic and natural disasters, we felt it was incredibly important to try and bring a little extra happiness this year.”

Prospera also donated $5,000 towards the Archway Youth Resource Centre. The money will help provide essential items youth may be unable to afford like hygiene products, furniture, bedding, and cleaning kits.

RELATED: Prospera Credit Union donates $25,000 to Archway Community Services

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