When Randy Hibbetts was a kid, he couldn’t wait to open the brightly colored packages waiting for him on Christmas morning. His heart would race as he ran to the beautifully decorated tree and began tearing into his gifts. A rush of excitement would come over him as he pulled out the latest G.I. Joe or cowboy action figure that he’d been dreaming of for months.
Decades later, Randy relives the joy of being a kid at Christmas through his generosity. He takes part in our annual Angel Tree drive to give kids their own cherished holiday memories.
“Christmas is very important in my life and giving gifts to kids through Angel Tree is how I really get the holiday season started,” said Randy, a meter reader with more than 30 years of service. “I had a really great childhood and I want these kids to feel the same excitement of getting to open gifts like I did.”
Over the years, Randy has encountered families living in difficult circumstances while working various routes in neighborhoods all over our community. Having seen our customers’ needs firsthand, it motivates him to make the season brighter for families in our community through Angel Tree.
“As a meter reader, you see a lot,” said Randy. “I’ve seen families living in homes that need a lot of repairs. There are a lot of people that need help.”
For the past five years, team members like Randy have been opening their hearts to kids in our community through Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program. Employees select Angel Tree tags for one or several children and purchase items from their wish lists. The Angel Tree program benefits 3,000 local families that can’t afford gifts and makes dreams come true for 7,000 children. Last year, our employees personally bought gifts for more than 1,000 kids, including clothing, toys, bicycles and sporting equipment. Then, more than 200 employees volunteered their time to assemble, organize and distribute gifts to local families at the Salvation Army toy shop.
This year, we’re continuing the Angel Tree tradition and doing even more to brighten the holidays for people in our community.
As for Randy, he’s jumpstarted the holiday season by starting to purchase gifts for the 4-year-old boy he selected this year.