PHOENIX -- A Valley mom lost her son, but his spirit lives on with a non-profit she created for young people. And this year that group will be spreading a lot of holiday cheer within the 3TV’s Christmas Angel program.
In April 2007, Colleen Walski lost her son Scott in a tragic accident, but he continues to change lives through the Scott Helping Children Foundation. It’s a non-profit service learning program for young people.
“Those kids actually have an opportunity to look at their community and understand what's good,” Walski said. "What maybe needs some improvements and then we kind of help them connect the dots.”
This is especially true during the holidays.
“We have been very involved with the Salvation Army on giving Christmas Angels,” Walski said.
That's right, the Christmas Angel Program is just one organization Walski’s kids will be helping out with this year. They're donating 400 hundred toys including pillow pets.
“So they made a choice on what child to select,” Walski said. “They got to make a special wish on the pillow pet and tagged the pillow pets and when tagged, they put it in the Salvation Army bag.”
But not only is the Christmas Angel program getting a helping hand, nearly 3,000 Valley kids will walk away with a smile on their faces thanks to the Scott Helping Children Foundation.
“Sure it feels nice to get stuff, but it also gives you this nice feeling when you’re doing something for other kids,” said Rachel Ostdiek, a fifth-grader at San Tan Learning Center.
There are still thousands of Christmas Angel tags to grab. Just look for the Christmas trees at these participating malls through Dec. 23:
Arizona Mills, Food Court
Arrowhead Towne Center, Sears Court, Lower Level
Camelback Colonnade, Near Last Chance, Upper Level
Chandler Fashion Center, Sears Court, Lower Level
Desert Sky Mall, Center Court
Fiesta Mall, Macy’s Court, Lower Level
Metrocenter, Macy’s Court, Upper Level
Paradise Valley Mall, Center Court
Prescott Gateway Mall, Barnes & Noble
Promenade at Casa Grande, Village near Harkins Theater
SanTan Village, Santa’s Lane, next to Harkins Theatres
Scottsdale Fashion Square, Macy’s, Lower Level
Superstition Springs, Macy’s Court, Lower Level
Desert Ridge Marketplace, Dave & Buster’s
Tempe Marketplace, Dave & Buster’s
Select an angel of your choice, register with one of our volunteers and then go shopping. Return your gifts by the date listed on the tag so they can be delivered to the child on time. You'll receive a receipt when you return the gifts.
With your help, the Christmas Angel program will deliver gifts to some 50,000 Arizona children.
For more information on the Christmas Angel program, or other ways you can help the Salvation Army, please check their website or call 602-267-4100.