GRAND CANYON, Ariz. — Among the festive lights and decorations in the Grand Canyon General Store, the small Christmas tree located in front of the customer service counter holds a special significance.
This is the Angel Tree, part of a program designed to help members of the Grand Canyon, Tusayan and Valle communities have a happy holiday, no matter their circumstances.
Facility manager Rory Relihan said the response from community members and visitors alike has been phenomenal.
To participate in the program, stop by the General Store and select an angel with the age and gender of a child in the community. Donors will be asked to give their name and contact information. Purchase a gift (around $15-$25) for the recipient and drop it off, unwrapped, at the customer service counter by Dec. 19. Monetary donations will also be accepted to help with food for the family baskets. All donations are tax-deductible.
Children 17 years old and under are eligible for the program, and Relihan said that most of their families receive a food basket as well.
Park employees will wrap gifts, assemble food baskets, and deliver the goodies before Christmas. The Rec Center will host a wrapping party at 1 p.m. Dec. 20 with pizza and goodies for anyone who would like to donate time to wrap gifts. Community members are also invited to help build the food baskets at 2 p.m. Dec. 21 at the Grand Canyon General Store.
According to Relihan, the program is operated entirely off of donations, from the park concession companies and individual donors.