Gathering gifts galore


Mrs. Katelin Ellis, Science, smiles next to an angel tree bucket. Mrs. Ellis was able to help at least 40 angels between her and her classes.

Karisa Candreva, Author

When Angel Tree buckets were passed around the school, Mrs. Katelin Ellis, Science, took this opportunity to help at least 40 angels between her and her classes.

“I grew up in a community where many people were low income or just struggling. It was very rare to be in a community that we’re from where there’s a lot of middle class or even upper class there,” Mrs. Ellis said.

Growing up, Mrs. Ellis was involved in the Angel Tree program throughout middle school, high school and college. She worked with her church as an advocate for donations.

“I think the big part that really impacted me was just the delivering. When you deliver the gifts to the families and the kids aren’t there but you just see how grateful the parents [and grandparents] are, it just hits home that you may not have a lot, but there’s people that have even less,” Mrs. Ellis said.

Last year Mrs. Ellis was on maternity leave, so this year she wanted to help out as much as she could.

“[Lake Central is] the largest center in the area to take on that many angels, but at the Salvation Army there are still hundreds of kids that hadn’t been picked up by any organization. I wanted to really push it harder myself,” Mrs. Ellis said.

The school took on 300 angels, but a week prior to when the donations were due, there were many angels that still needed to be picked up.

“I pushed other teachers too and they started picking up more by the end. I was also helping around and other teachers were becoming more advocates to each other,” Mrs. Ellis said.

After the donations started coming in, the school was able to exceed the 300 angels they received and help closer to 400 angels in total.

“I think next year [the] goal is 500. If I could beat my number, that would be awesome,” Mrs. Ellis said.