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TCCU hosts Tree of Life for Adult Protective Services clients

Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 3:57 PM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Adult Protective Services and the Texoma Community Credit Union have again partnered to bring their Tree of Life initiative to those they serve during the holiday season.

TCCU staff and APS case workers decorated the Tree of Life on Wednesday, hanging ornaments that represented a client’s wish list.

“It changes your heart to really look at the wish lists each year because they’re things like blankets and socks, something really simple that is really going to make a difference in someone’s life,” said TCCU Marketing Director Lauren McKechnie.

Gifts given through the program go to adults who have been victims of abuse, neglect or exploitation, and who are likely in need of everyday essentials like toiletries or warm clothing. The recipients are unaware they’ll be receiving presents until APS case workers deliver the gifts.

While APS works to remove adult victims from harm’s way, case workers can’t always provide all of the everyday items their clients might want or need. Gifts can therefore range from hygiene items to house slippers.

“What really impacted me was seeing that some people had put that they wanted to receive dog gifts for their dogs. They wanted treats, or they wanted toys. So they’re not even thinking of themselves, they’re thinking of their little loved ones,” said McKechnie.

“We were up to 110 before COVID,” said APS supervisor Crystal Sullivan. “And during COVID, we would deliver them to doorsteps if people were comfortable with social distancing, or case workers would wait in the car to make sure they received the gifts.”

79 adults will receive gifts this year through the Tree of Life. However, not all of the ornaments have been claimed, and they still need people to adopt wish lists in order to make the program a success.

If you’re interested in participating, simply take an ornament from a Tree of Life at one of TCCU’s three locations and register as a project participant with an employee. Learn about your recipient by reading the wish list on the ornament, and after purchasing the listed items, place them in an unsealed gift bag and bring them back to TCCU. If including a gift tag, list only the person’s first name.

Gifts should be returned to TCCU by Saturday, Dec. 11 so that APS case workers can drop them off before Christmas. Monetary donations can also be made to TCCU’s Tree of Life account. To learn more, call (940) 851-4080.

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