By RYAN WOLCH & MARCOS BROCH, NEWS3 Reporters
MACOMB, Illinois (NEWS3) — Western Illinois University and the Office of Student Engagement (OSE) have partnered up with the Salvation Army for the WIU Angel Tree. The Angel Tree is located in the University Union food court.
KiKi Marshall, graduate adviser with Volunteer Services in the Office of Student Engagement, said that the Angel Tree has been at Western for many years.
“I believe it is important that we continue that tradition of collaborating with the Salvation Army to bring gifts to children in need in the Macomb community,” she said.
Students who would like to participate can pick up an Angel Tag and register it at the information desk next to the bookstore in the University Union. Marshall talked about how important it is for students to participate in the Angel Tree.
“It really shows me that the university and students are willing to step out, to help students and children in need in the Macomb community,” she said.
Students around campus have participated in the Angel Tree before. Senior Alexandra Leezer and sophomore Emily Sharon shared some words on the importance of the Angel Tree and the impact it has had on them.
“Being able to give back to those kids really just made me feel good, and it made me happy to do it, and it’s stuck with me ever since,” Leezer said.
She has been participating since she was six years old. The Angel Tree brought her back to her childhood, and she said she would love to see the faces of the children when they open the gifts.
“When a kid asks for some of the toys that I loved when I was little, I’m glad they get just as much satisfaction and fun time as I did,” Leezer said.
Sophomore Emily Sharon said she participated last year for a little 1-year-old boy “because you should always be giving to other people that can’t afford anything.”
Students and faculty can return new, unwrapped gifts to the Office of Student Engagement on the first floor of the University Union by 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10. For more information, contact the OSE at 309-298-3232.