Sarah Simpson Column: There’s no wrong gift if it comes from the heart

Sarah Simpson Column: There’s no wrong gift if it comes from the heart

Angel Tree program a way for the non-profit to collect new clothing and toys for children in need

The other day I picked my Kindergartner up from his school and his little friend and her mom wanted to swing by the school’s office to check out the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree. The Angel Tree program is a way for the non-profit to collect new clothing and toys for children in need during the holiday season. The trees are placed at churches, schools, and shopping centres all around town and would-be supporters can pick a tag from the tree and purchase a gift for the boy or girl suitable for whatever age range is listed on the card.

It’s a great program to help those less fortunate than us and I’ve done it most years since my sister has had children. That’s when it began to sink in how fortunate my family was to have happy, healthy, children with a roof over their heads and food in their bellies. Since having kids of my own, my husband and I have continued the tradition of giving at Christmas via the Angel Tree. We’ve always found a tag for a child that’s of a similar age to our own and we’ve always gotten that tag at one of the local grocery stores. Until this year.

SEE RELATED: Salvation Army kettle campaign targets $200,000 for Island residents in need

I hadn’t anticipated picking a tag from the tree at my son’s school when we swung by with his friend earlier this week but we did. My son was adamant we take one home. How could I argue?

Unlike in years past when I included my kids in buying the gift to be donated, unbeknownst to my five-year-old, I had already picked up the gifts this year for a three-to-five-year-old. (We picked the same age range as our kids to really drive home to them that kids their own age sometimes need some help too. Also, it helps us gauge what a kid that age would like if they pick it out and teaches them a valuable lesson, we think, to have them pick something they’d like only to have to give it away.)

Anyway, didn’t want to dampen his spirit of giving though, when we couldn’t find a tag for that range on the tree, so I allowed him to pick a tag for a child slightly older.

He was excited and felt good about the idea of helping another child out.

I was in a bit of a pickle though. Do I go out and buy something to match the ticket or do I find a different tag? If I got something different what would I do with the gifts I already had?

I ended up taking what I had, two gifts for the three-to-five-year-old age range and my green tag for the six-to-nine-year-old age range to the Salvation Army’s Angel tree drop-off location in the Duncan Village mall. I explained to the smiling volunteer at the desk that my son had chosen a card that didn’t match up with the gifts we’d purchased to donate and was there anything we could do.

The volunteer then analyzed my gifts and hollered across the room to (presumably) the volunteer in charge that I’d gotten the wrong presents!

My face flushed a little. Oops. I didn’t mean to make a scene.

Technically, the volunteer wasn’t wrong. My gifts didn’t match the tag but in my defence, I did bring two gifts? Surely that was good for something?

The volunteer in charge (presumably) came over from the other end of the room and looked at me and said “there are no wrong presents!” and thanked me for what I’d brought.

So, the moral of the story? It feels good to help if you can. Donate what you have. There are no wrong presents when your heart is in the right place.

There’s still time to donate. Find an Angel Tree at a local grocery store, church or school and help the Salvation Army give to those in need this holiday season.



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Vetch cover crop beginning to flower. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Vetch and crimson clover to the rescue of soil fertility

I add dry organic fertilizer as plants use up what is in the soil.

Sarah Simpson
Sarah Simpson column: A shift in perspective can sometimes change everything

Have you even been forced to wake up at 5:30 on a Saturday

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

North Cowichan’s committee of the whole have rejected staff’s recommendation to limit the use of fireworks to Halloween. (File photo)
North Cowichan rejects limiting fireworks to Halloween

Municipality decides staff recommendation would be unpopular

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Most Read