On the wings of angels
In an outpouring of generosity, residents at Highland Village received hundreds of gifts thanks to the community’s participation in the Angel Tree program.
Highland staff set up trees at Stockman’s Casino, Fallon Ford Toyota, Lighthouse Laser and the Churchill County Library. Each tree was decorated with tags from the residents with something they wanted for Christmas.
Cathy Petersen, director of activities at Highland, said there was a massive response. One of the resident apartments was nearly filled with presents and it was only a portion of the donations.
“Everyone went above and beyond,” Petersen said.
Naval Air Station Fallon’s Fleet and Family Support Center also got in on the Christmas spirit. On Friday, they made a stop at Highland to deliver a wealth of donations for the veterans there.
The Fleet and Family Support Center adopted all the veterans at Highland and the Homestead. Kathy Button, with the FFSC, said they had an amazing turnout and all of their angels were gone in two days.
“I had more people wanting to adopt than I had angels to adopt,” she said. “It was wonderful.”
In all, NAS Fallon had about 30 angels this year.
Button said these events are great since they promote volunteering to help the community and showing appreciation to elders. She added how happy she was with the turnout.
“I was so impressed with how everyone stepped up,” Button said.
Petersen said donations continued to come in even after their trees ran out of tags.
The presents were a collection of all sorts of items; socks, games, puzzles, models, gift cards and art supplies to name a few. Petersen said they had enough art supplies now to last at least a year.
“Our budget is kind of tight,” she said. “So to produce an activities department with the art supplies, which is one of the biggest things the residents enjoy, this will save us thousands of dollars.”
According to Petersen, many of the Highland residents do not have family in Fallon; she said she feels this sort of event is especially important for them since it gives them a nice Christmas and lets them feel loved.
“No senior left behind,” she said, quoting the motto she coined for the event. “A lot of these folks are our history and they’ve got some great stories.”
The Fleet and Family Support Center is also looking into expanding their part of the Angel Trees next year. Button said they are looking at adopting veterans in Fernley as well.
Petersen wanted to give a huge thank you to the community as a whole for all its generosity. She added the Highland Village staff wants to express how grateful they are.
“I was born, bred and raised in Fallon, but to see this first hand it’s absolutely incredible,” Petersen said.