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"Welcome Home Military Heroes" Veteran's Angel Tree program celebrates success

"It was our most successful year so far," says Cheryl Tolan
Welcome Home Military Heroes Angel Tree
Posted at 5:23 PM, Jan 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-05 20:23:37-05

Welcome Home Military Heroes celebrated its 5th annual Veteran's Angel Tree program.

"It was our most successful year so far," said Cheryl Tolan, the co-founder and secretary of the organization.

The members of this organization team up with social workers and the Facebook group "Patriots of Welcome Home Military Heroes" to pull off this event, and they come from Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura counties.

The organization calls those who participate in the gift-giving "angels," and they grant as many as 296 wishes for veterans and their family members.

Welcome Home Military Heroes place Christmas trees at specific locations, typically businesses, and "welcome" military heroes to fill out a card stating their needs and then put the card on the tree. Anybody can take the card, go buy a gift or two and bring them back to the business for donation.

This is what one of the organization's trees looked like this year, you can see some cards that have been filled out hanging from the tree.

"We have grown to 6 tree locations, including Rontal Salon, Coastal Peaks Coffee, A la Carte Gift Store, Peacock Cellars, Oak Knolls Hardware store, and the American Legion Post 534 of Orcutt," said Tolan.

Welcome Home Military Heroes is in charge of delivering items.

"We gather the gifts, bring them to our wrapping location, and tag them with each recipient's name," said Tolan.

Most of the requests this year included the following:

  • Gas gift cards
  • Grocery gift cards
  • Blankets
  • Warm coats
  • Toys
  • Kids clothing
  • Books

This year, they estimated that the "angels" gathered roughly $17,000 worth of items.

This is what the gifts commonly look like after the wrapping process. There are enough gifts to fill up multiple carloads for veterans and their family members that reside in our community.

With 11 years under their belt of service for the community, the Welcome Home Military Heroes are no way near finished with their mission.

If you are interested in getting involved in this program or any of the other veteran services they offer throughout the year, you can either join their Facebook group,"Patriots of Welcome Home Military Heroes" or go to their website.