Giving Angels….Spreading the Joy of Christmas

It’s hard to beat the feeling of seeing a smile on a child’s face when she receives a Christmas present.

Although it’s a happy time of year, Michelle Sherman, a family advocate for the Urban Child Development Resource Center, knows that not all children receive those gifts on Christmas day.

To help, the UCDRC — a partnership between UD’s Center for Catholic Education and local Catholic schools — collaborates with Hannah’s Treasure Chest Giving Angels program to provide Christmas gifts for students at Dayton area Catholic schools.

Sherman started working with the UCDRC in 2008 and immediately got involved with the holiday gift-giving program.

“It’s changed and developed over the years,” Sherman says. “It started with 25 children (served), but now serves more than 200.”

This year the program enrolled 230 children from 87 families in need.

The 2015 holiday gift-giving project raised $1,350 in donations from Hannah’s Treasure Chest Giving Angels; UCDRC staff; U.D. faculty, staff, and alumni; Marianist Leadership Scholars (U.D. undergrads); Immaculate Conception Church Giving Tree; and Catholic Social Services Holiday-Help-A-Family.

Presents were distributed December 14, and the volunteers were thrilled to see the looks on the families’ faces.

“The parents are very overwhelmed by the box,” Sherman says, explaining that the families are excited to see presents already wrapped and placed in a cardboard box. “It’s really nice to see how surprised they get when they open that box.”

Take a look at some of those smiling faces at in the 2015 Giving Angels photo gallery

This article originally appeared in UDQuickly, the University of Dayton’s on-line magazine.