If you walk into Great Falls Central Catholic High School, you will see an empty tree.
But about a week ago, that tree had paper angels hanging from the branches.
“We started to put these little paper angels on the tree, and these angels started to fly away to the homes that they were going to for people to go out and buy things," Deacon Bob Ferguson said. "And then they started to come back."
The Angel Tree was an idea sparked by one students’ will to give back to an organization that once helped him in a time of need.
“Great Falls Central Catholic High School has students from all faiths, so I welcome the input and he wanted us to get a hold of Head Start and find out if we could help because he had grown up through Head Start and they have done so much for him," Ferguson said. "He wanted to give back because it was during a time in his life where he didn’t have a whole lot."
The student body came together and received more than 100 gifts to donate this holiday season.
“Not everyone has an elaborate Christmas with twenty gifts and a lot of people just need the essentials so that was really cool that we got to bring gifts in that weren't really toys but were for single mothers who needed to supply for their kids,” Junior Sydney Hill said.
And if there’s one lesson the deacon wants others to take away from this time of year, it’s this:
“We live in a world right now where our children need us to be the example for others to follow," he said. "In my classroom, I really try to stress 'love your neighbor' and everybody always wonders who my neighbor is. And I think the kids really learned their neighbor is just about everybody that they can help.”
The high school wants to send a special thanks to Target and Head Start for making the Angel Tree happen this holiday season.