Cresson, Pa. – The Mount Aloysius College Angel Tree project has been going strong for more than 20 years. This year, more than 100 of the College’s students, faculty, and staff donated gifts to 155 angels from Cambria and Blair counties. The angels ranged in age from one month to 43 years old.
The Angel Tree was conceived as a way for the Mount Aloysius community to give back to the surrounding region. The College receives names of individuals who need help over the Christmas season. Identifying information is removed for anonymity, with needs and likes placed on angels adorning a Christmas tree in the main hallway of the Main Building at the College.
“The Angel Tree helps us to remember that Christmas is the Season of Giving by identifying those who are in need,” said campus minister Alison McElheny. “I think we’ve been so successful all these years because this is really a project that aligns with the College’s values. We take pride in our Mercy heritage, and this is one way that we can bring our core values of Mercy, Justice, Hospitality, and Service authentically into the lives of others.”
Help can mean anything from toys for a child at Christmastime, to warm clothes, to basic necessities.
“The Mount community of students, faculty, staff, administration, families, and friends were beyond generous,” said McElheny. “It’s so gratifying to see everyone come together to support our community, especially at the holidays.”
Mount Aloysius College partnered with local organizations like Westmont Hilltop Elementary School, Hollidaysburg Area School District, Portage School District, Community Action Partnership of Cambria County (CAPCC), the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, Glendale Area School District, Our Mother of Sorrows, Birthright, Alternative Community Resource Program (ACRP), Saint Michael’s Catholic School, Forest Hills School District, and Northern Cambria School District to select the angels for this year’s tree.
Caption: (L-R) Tonia Gordon, Mount Aloysius Vice President for People & Mission; Julia Davis, of Mount Pleasant, PA; Spencer McElheny, of Cresson, PA; and Alison McElheny, Campus Minister; hold angel gifts in front of the Angel Tree. Gifts were donated to 155 community members.