An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

HomeNewsArticle Display

Angel Tree to help VAFB families

An angel hangs on the Buckley Angel Tree in the Exchange Nov. 30, 2015, on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. The Angel Tree is a program set up by the Buckley Spouses Group and Buckley First Sergeants Council that helps Airmen and their families provide gifts for their children when finances are tight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke W. Nowakowski/Released)

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke W. Nowakowski/Released)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The Vandenberg first sergeants recently set up an Angel Tree to collect gift donations at the Base Exchange through Dec. 17.

The program is designed to help Vandenberg families, military and civilian alike, have a better holiday season, by distributing gifts to families that may not have the extra resources this holiday. 

"The Angel Tree is a charitable program intended to ensure all children have a happy Christmas regardless of their family's financial situation," said Senior Master Sgt. Zackeriah Stys, 30th Civil Engineer Squadron first sergeant. "No one should go without. Here on Vandenberg, the program is intended to provide toys to children 12 and under whose parents might be challenged to provide themselves, during the holidays. The children, as well as the donated gifts, remain anonymous."  

With the tree conveniently located, individuals who want to help their neighbors can simply take an angel from the tree, buy a gift for that specific age and gender and place it in the collection box.

"The Angel Tree Program is run by all the base first sergeants and the gifts go to the children of active duty and civilian employees at Vandenberg, anyone in their respective units who need a little extra at Christmas," said Paulette Taylor, 381st Training Group protocol chief.

The program could not function without the dedication of the base first sergeants and key spouses, who use their unique jobs to boost morale.

"A unit's first sergeant is uniquely positioned to be able to help identify those families who can benefit from this program," said Stys. "We work with key spouses, supervisors and especially Ms. Paulette Taylor at the 381st Training Group to ensure the program is a success each year." 

Taylor has been helping with the program for almost two decades, although she has maintained continuity; the program requires a dedicated community effort to keep it going.

"Ms. Taylor has been involved with and organized Angel Tree on VAFB for 19 years," said Stys. "The First Sergeant Council has been assisting Angel Tree since before I was stationed here. People wishing to donate gifts to Angel Tree can do so by going to the main exchange and selecting angels from the Angel Tree display. Each Angel has the age and gender of a child signed up for the program. People then purchase a gift appropriate for that Angel and place it in the drop-off box also located in the main exchange."  

Every year members of the base support this program, providing the means to make it successful.

"Angel Tree is an important program because it allows us the means to ensure all Team V families enjoy a joyous holiday season without the stigma sometimes associated with charity," said Stys. "We would like to thank all those generously donating gifts to Angel Tree. Your involvement and support are why this program is successful each and every year."