Rockwall YMCA community donates record number of Angel Tree gifts

Rockwall YMCA community donates record number of Angel Tree gifts

ROCKWALL, TX – December 18, 2020 — With the global pandemic comes many a hardship for local small businesses and charities as they continue to do all they can to stay afloat. Those circumstances have created a need within the community that’s far greater than it ever has been before; But they have also brought even more reasons to give back.

Take the J.E.R. Chilton YMCA at Rockwall’s Angel Tree, for example. Due to the pandemic, the Rockwall Y saw more applications for recipients for its Angel Tree than ever before.

Every year around Christmas, the Y puts out a Christmas tree filled with ornaments, each representing a local child age 18 or younger whose family has an active Y membership, requires financial assistance, and needs help in the holiday season. The ornaments listed the child’s age along with one need and one wish they have this Christmas. The Y invites the community to adopt an angel from the tree by selecting an ornament, purchasing the item listed on the ornament, and dropping off the item at the Y to be delivered to the family.

This year, the Y saw more participants than ever before, with 86 children of families in need receiving a gift this Christmas. That’s 86 kids that will have presents under the tree when they otherwise might not have due to financial hardship faced by their families. Not only that, but it only took a couple of days for all of those angels to be adopted from the tree.

The Rockwall community stepped up to fill a great need with a record number of Angel Tree gifts this year.

“It’s incredibly inspirational, especially in a time when there are a lot of families facing uncertainties either socially or financially,” said Rockwall YMCA Executive Director Clint Elliott. “It solidifies the notion that we’re all here to help each other. The pandemic has shown us that anyone can find themselves in a position where they need that kind of financial help. Sometimes asking for help can be hard, but it’s great to know that there are people in this community willing to extend that helping hand and aid those who are going through a hard time.”

With many facing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic, the need has certainly been much bigger this year than usual. But that only means there are even more opportunities to give back to the community, and a great way to do that is by donating to the Y’s Annual Campaign.

The Y provides a plethora of programs and services that allow the organization to fill the ever-growing needs of the community – all of which are funded by its Annual Campaign. A couple of examples include the Y’s Angel Camp summer program, which provides kids with special needs the opportunity to experience typical day camp activities like archery, riflery (BBs), crafts, swimming, canoeing, group games, field trips and more. With the Y’s Safety Around Water program, kids can engage in swim lessons teaching them how to be safe in and around the water, all at no cost to families.

The Rockwall Y also offers membership and program scholarships that provide financial assistance for those who can’t afford a membership or programs such as Youth and Government, swim lessons and youth sports. The YMCA believes strongly that everyone, regardless of their financial circumstances, can benefit from YMCA programs, and the Annual Campaign ensures that nobody is turned away due to an inability to pay.

“Our hope is that our Annual Campaign will be our strongest one ever in 2021, because those in our community who want to support these folks will do so, knowing that there’s an enhanced need,” Elliott said.

To donate to the Rockwall YMCA Annual Campaign and make a difference in the community, visit

By Austin Wells, Blue Ribbon News. Photos by BRN Media.

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