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Christmas angels: Hamilton's Massa Home Center hosts Angel Tree for 10th year

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Christmas angels: Hamilton's Mass Home Center hosts Angel Tree for 10th year

Massa Home Center's Deana Wolfe and Tory Johnson hold a pair of angels from the Hamilton store's Angel Tree. This is the 10th year the business has hosted the Angel Tree program that provides gifts for children associated with the Ravalli Head Start program.

Hamilton’s Massa Home Center will celebrate its 10th year of hosting the Angel Tree.

For the Ravalli Head Start families served by the program that matches generous community members with children in need, the Angel Tree is a godsend for their Christmas season.

“It’s huge,” said Te-Ata Headley, Ravalli Head Start’s family and community partnership coordinator. “We have families that are participating for the first time this year. They have told us they could really use some help this year.”

The challenges of an unpredictable year have caught up them financially as they enter the holiday season.

“Some are applying for the very first time,” Headley said. “For all our families, this program is a major blessing. We really appreciate Deana, Tory and all the Massa family. Without them, there are a lot of families who wouldn’t have much of a Christmas.”

By the time all of the applications come in and the families’ requests are transferred to the angels hung on the metal tree in Massa Home Center’s lobby, Headley expects there will be more than 200 children served by the program this year.

Organizers Deana Wolfe and Tory Johnson said there’s already been a steady stream of people coming in to pick up their angels off the tree.

“This morning, there were only about eight left on the tree,” Johnson said. “People look forward to participating in this every year.”

The paper angels identify the age and gender of the child and include information on their clothing size and a toy or two. Members of the community pick an angel from the tree, go shopping and return the gifts to Massa by Dec. 13.

The gifts are then sorted to ensure that each child in a family will receive about the same number and transported to Ravalli Head Start where the deliveries occur.

“People don’t have to buy everything that’s on the angels,” Wolfe said. “They can do whatever it is that they are comfortable doing. If they want to buy boots and a book, we will fill in the rest of the request.”

The gifts are stored in a large storage container that is generously donated by Victor’s Merchant Delivery for the season.

“It gets filled to the brim,” Wolfe said. “We couldn’t do this without their help. Without that storage container, it would turn into a mess.”

Wolfe and Johnson said they are always impressed by the generosity of the community.

“A lot of people come back every year,” Wolfe said. “They are so anxious to be able to go shopping and help these kiddos. That’s pretty heartwarming.”

Hosting the Angel Tree also serves as the perfect primer for bringing on the holiday spirit for all the employees at Massa.

“All of our fellow employees get excited about it,” Johnson said. “There are a lot of elves ready to help when it comes time to put together a bicycle or a trike. They’ll drop whatever they’re doing to make sure everything gets put together just right.”

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