Cherokee Nation Angel Project: A Brighter Holiday for Children in Need

Cherokee Nation Kicks Off 2018 Angel Project

Guest Commentary

Published December 3, 2018

All children deserve the joy of a bountiful Christmas morning and the experience of tearing open a gift especially selected and wrapped for them. As a father, grandfather and now great-grandfather, it is a tradition I never grow tired of watching. At the Cherokee Nation, we are blessed to have a wonderful program in place for low-income children that ensures they don’t miss out on that magical feeling on Christmas morning.

Cherokee Nation’s Angel Project is gearing up to serve thousands of children in need, allowing them the special feeling of knowing there is a present waiting under the Christmas tree for them this holiday season. Last Christmas, almost 2,000 Cherokee children were provided for—kids who might not otherwise have had anything to celebrate on Christmas morning.

Our Angel Project started in the early 1990s and has continued to expand each year. It serves Cherokees 16 and younger who reside within our 14-county tribal jurisdiction.

The angel tree stands in the lobby of the main tribal complex in Tahlequah, and the paper angels hanging on it represent children in our communities. Each ornament contains a child’s information and his or her Christmas wish list. The children’s needs range from simple necessities like socks, shoes and coats, to the fun toys and games little ones enjoy so much. No matter the gift, we know with your help, we will create a happy holiday memory that will last these children a lifetime.

Chief Bill John Baker

I also want to take this opportunity to thank our generous employees for their participation in the annual program. Every year, I am amazed at how they pull together and ensure all the angels are provided for. And for the team of Cherokee Nation employees who run the Angel Project, it is a massive undertaking. They coordinate this program during one of the busiest times for families, while still keeping up with their regular job duties. Wado, Angel Project staff!

The Angel Project runs completely on donations with the assistance of the local community, but it also draws interest far and wide. People throughout the country often send donations, if they aren’t able to travel here to pick up an angel in person.

As Christmas draws closer, please help us make sure that every wish of every angel is fulfilled. To adopt an angel, visit the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex, 17675 S. Muskogee Ave., Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and select an angel ornament off the tree. Presents should be returned unwrapped to our Cherokee FIRST desk in the lobby by Dec. 7. Our staff will wrap and deliver them anonymously to the angel’s family. Additionally, if you want to make a financial donation to the Cherokee Nation Angel Project, please, scroll to the bottom and click on “Giving to the Cherokee Nation.” You can designate “Angel Project” as your intended recipient.

I encourage each of you to find it in your heart to adopt a Cherokee angel, even two or three, if you have the means.

Bill John Baker is the principal chief of the Cherokee Nation.

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