GCI Employees Help Fill Needs During Christmas with Angel Tree

Dec 23, 2019 | by Lessa Peter

Angel Tree Participants Make Christmas Happen for Families in Need

Each Christmas season, hundreds of organizations across Alaska participate in The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program. The program itself is a little different in each community, but the goal is the same: to provide gifts for underprivileged children in that community.

Participating Angel Tree organizations receive “Angel” tags from Salvation Army Corps Officers with a child’s name and a few examples of gifts they are hoping to receive on Christmas. The Angel’s sponsor will then shop for a gift to fill the Angel’s request. Often the organization will set up a Christmas tree with the Angel Tree tags on it for employees or visiting customers to pick a tag from and bring back an unwrapped gift to the organization with the tag attached. When ready, Salvation Army officers will pick up the gifts to distribute to the children (or Angels) of the families in the community who have applied for Christmas assistance.

In Fairbanks, GCI employees participate in Angel Tree each year. As a company founded and operated by Alaskans, GCI’s website states the company is committed to being a good neighbor and supporting local communities. The company does this by supporting employee volunteerism, community engagement and a variety of other ways of giving back.

“Our employees are big supporters of The Salvation Army and what they do for our community,” said Karissa Mahler, GCI Customer Experience Manager in Fairbanks. “The Salvation Army Angel Tree is one of the community events where we get the highest participation amongst our employees here at GCI in Fairbanks.”

“I participate because I care about the community and the people in it,” said Mahler regarding the company’s Salvation Army Angel Tree. “I like being part of an organization that cares about the community they do business in. I’m a lifelong Fairbanksan and community matters a lot to my family and I.”

This past spring, GCI employees also helped The Salvation Army Fairbanks Corps Officers with food delivery to low-income senior housing in the community. In addition, GCI employees also helped sort through donations received by the The Salvation Army Family Thrift Store in Fairbanks.

“GCI employees who participated in the food delivery reported that they enjoyed helping. The meal recipients were happy to see them and our employees were happy to deliver the food. They enjoyed talking to the residents and answering questions about their phones,” said Mahler. “We are looking forward to participating in future events and volunteer opportunities with The Salvation Army.”

Big thanks to GCI employees in Anchorage for volunteering to help disburse Christmas gifts and food at Anchorage Neighborhood GIFT!

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