Angel Trees are back

The Angel Trees are back, giving folks a chance to do a good deed during the Christmas season by helping people who have been victims of domestic violence.

According to Domestic Violence Victim’s Advocate for Harlan County Sheryl Caudel, the program is aimed at making Christmas better for the women and children residing in a local domestic violence shelter.

“We’ve partnered with Cato’s and Goody’s,” Caudel said. “We’ve place angels on their trees with descriptions — and ages for the children — what we’re asking people to do is go by and pick one of those angels, purchase a gift and return it to the store.”

Caudel pointed out Cato’s tree is designated for the women, while Goody’s tree is for the children staying at the shelter.

“This is the third year we have done this specifically for the domestic violence shelter,” Caudel said. “We currently have 15 children and 12 adults (at the shelter).”

The process of buying the gifts is made easier via information included on the angels.

“Written on the angels, there is a child’s first name, their age, something they would like to have and something they need,” Caudel explained. “You can just pick and choose, we’re certainly not asking anybody to buy everything on that list. With the adults, we’re only asking for pajamas; that’s one of the hardest things to keep in supply at the shelter.”

According to a press release, a wrapped gift and the angel tag should be returned to the store by closing time on Dec. 20. The gifts are then picked up and taken to the shelter.

The release states Cumberland Valley Domestic Violence Services provides safe shelter to victims of domestic violence, serving Bell, Clay, Harlan, Jackson, Knox, Laurel, Rockcastle and Whitley Counties.

If you are in an abusive relationship and need help, contact the 24-hour crisis line at 800-755-5348. To speak with the Harlan County Domestic Violence Victim Advocate, call 606-392-1129.