Lift-Up program needs a boost |

Lift-Up program needs a boost

Janet Urquhart

With hundreds of gift requests from valley children still unanswered, Lift-Up has extended the deadline for its Angel Tree program to Sunday.

Administrators of the downvalley Lift-Up are hoping the community will come through in the next few days and help the agency fulfill gift requests from children in needy families from Parachute to El Jebel.

“We just had a really large increase in the number of families and children that registered for food baskets and gifts this year,” said Steve Carcaterra, executive director of Lift-Up. “We are in much better shape with food than toys.”

Angels are hanging on trees at businesses throughout the lower valley. Each contains a child’s gift request. The deadline for purchasing and returning gifts to the trees was originally Wednesday. It has been extended until Sunday in hopes that more of the hundreds of angels still hanging from the trees will be picked up by locals who are willing to help.

Last year, the agency fulfilled about 1,900 gift requests, according to Carcaterra. This year, Lift-Up has hung up well over 2,000 angels.

“Each angel represents a child that we’ve committed to providing a gift for,” he said. “We’re not going to say, `Sorry, your kid doesn’t get a gift.'”

For each angel left on the trees, Lift-Up goes shopping, using funds that are budgeted to help with food and shelter for needy families throughout the year, Carcaterra said. “It’s going to hurt us quite a bit,” he said.

Anyone who’d like to send money to Lift-Up to help purchase gifts may send a check to Lift-Up, P.O. Box 456; Parachute, CO 81635.

To fulfill a gift request, take a paper angel off a tree, buy the present requested, wrap it, securely attach the angel to the package and return it to the gift tree no later than Sunday.

Angel Trees are located at: Glenwood Springs Mall, City Market, True Value and Country General in Glenwood; Mesa Bank at City Market in Carbondale; Alpine Bank at City Market in El Jebel; City Market and Columbine Market in Rifle; City Market in New Castle; the Silt Library in Silt; and City Market and Outlaw Restaurant in Parachute.

Gifts and food baskets will be distributed to area families on Dec. 19 and 20.

“I think it’s going to work out, but it’s going to be a nail-biter,” Carcaterra said.

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