An Angel Tree which has been put up in Stirling Tesco today is aiming to fulfil the Christmas wishes of underprivileged children across the area in what will be their “busiest year” yet.
42-year-old Stirling author, Dianne Evans, has been running the event with her family for seven years and believes that “every child should have the spirit and magic of Christmas”.
In partnership with local charities, the family collects the wishes of children from deprived backgrounds and writes them on paper angels.
The angels are then hung on The Angel Tree, waiting for a member of the public to take a wish from the tree and become this child’s “Christmas angel” by donating their dream gift.
An Amazon wish list has also been created for those who find it easier to shop and donate online.
For Dianne, the 450 wishes received this year show how poverty has gone “right through the roof” and the number of children in need of help is “massively increasing”.
Dianne said that many of the wishes are most likely “something you would take for granted” and there are many requests on the Tesco tree for basics like aftershave, combs, and pyjamas.
For Dianne, one particularly heart-breaking wish was from a six-year-old girl asking for makeup to give to her Mum “so she could cover her bruises”.
Another was from a little boy “asking for a Tesco gift card to buy himself food”.
Lisa Pilgrim, Store Manager at Stirling Tesco Superstore spoke of the importance of big businesses helping local charities.
She said: “We are always looking for ways to take part in the local community and this just seemed like a perfect opportunity that all colleagues and customers could get involved in.”
Lisa said that instead of doing a secret Santa her staff uses the money to take as many angels as they can, with other Stirling businesses like Marks & Spencer following suit.
Smaller local businesses have also pulled together to provide three additional locations for this year, with one Angel Tree already thriving at Christine’s Cottage Kitchen in Fallin and two more to be put up at The Cotton House and Jac’s Snacks later this month.
Dianne praised the community’s special dedication to the cause and said that “people will come together from all walks of life”, with local kids even using “their chore money” to donate a gift and enable other children to experience happiness this Christmas.