From the left, Cherokee Nation Tribal Youth Councilor Camerin James, Jr. Miss Cherokee Kaitlyn Pinkerton, Little Cherokee Ambassador Maysi Fields and Miss Cherokee Whitney Roach select ornaments from the Cherokee Nation Angel Project tree.
Nearly 2,000 angels are ready to be adopted as part of the 2018 Cherokee Nation Angel Project, which kicked off Tuesday. Each year, the project provides clothing, toys and other holiday needs to Cherokee children across the tribe’s 14-county area.
Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, Tribal Council Speaker Joe Byrd and Tribal Councilor Janees Taylor were joined by the Cherokee National Youth Choir, Miss Cherokee Whitney Roach, Junior Miss Cherokee Kaitlyn Pinkerton and Little Cherokee Ambassadors to kick off the program at the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex in Tahlequah.
“Christmas is such a magical time of the year, and it is a blessing to know we are able to share in providing for Cherokee families who are in need,” Crittenden said. “Our tribe always has so much to be thankful for, and it is important that we remember our Cherokee families that could use a little extra help during the holidays. If you are able to share your blessings this year, I encourage you to visit the Cherokee Nation Angel Project tree.”
Each ornament on the tree represents a Cherokee child in the community. The Cherokee Nation Angel Project could mean the difference in whether these children have presents to open for Christmas, according to Cherokee Nation Indian Child Welfare Executive Director Nikki Baker-Limore.
“Many of these families do not have extra funds for Christmas gifts,” Baker-Limore said. “The children on the tree are living with either a guardian or a family member who meets the federal income guidelines, so it is very important and appreciated when the community comes together to contribute to these families during the holiday season.”
In addition to Christmas toys, the project often provides families with items like bedding and winter clothing.
You can request an angel by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org select an angel in person at the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex in Tahlequah. All donations should be returned unwrapped to the Cherokee First area inside the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex by Dec. 5.
Tax-free monetary donations to help buy gifts for the Angel Project children can be made to the Cherokee Nation at www.cherokee.org. Look for the “Giving to the Cherokee Nation” box at the bottom of the home page.
The Cherokee Nation also has a number of elder angels for adoption through the tribe’s Human Services department.
For more information about the Cherokee Nation Angel Project, call 918-458-6900. For more information on adopting an elder angel, call 918-453-5000.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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