FROM STAFF REPORTS
The holidays are a time to gather with friends and family. But that’s not possible when a family member or friend has been lost due to a violent crime. It can be a difficult time for the surviving friends and family, which is a reason behind the Tree of Angels.
Each year, the Tree of Angels ceremony gives family of victims of violent crimes a chance to reflect on and remember their lost loved one. This year’s Hill Country Survivors of Violent Crimes Tree of Angels ceremony is Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Marble Falls Church of Christ, 711 Broadway.
Doors open at 4 p.m., and the ceremony starts at 5 p.m.
This particular Tree of Angels is for victims of violent crimes in Burnet, Blanco, San Saba, and Llano counties. Almost every year, more ornaments are added to the tree for those who have died in the previous 12 months or so.
Family, friends, and guests are invited to bring ornaments for the tree in remembrance of a loved one, a framed photo, or a block for the Tree of Angels quilt.
The Tree of Angels started in 1991 in Austin. Verna Lee, then the executive director of People Against Violent Crimes, wanted a way to honor the family and friends of victims of violent crimes and acknowledge how difficult this time of year was for them.
The program spread across the state and beyond. Gov. Greg Abbott proclaimed Dec. 3-9 of this year Tree of Angels Week in Texas.
The Tree of Angels is different than angel trees, which have become a popular fundraiser during the Christmas season. The Tree of Angels is solely for the purpose of remembering those lost to violent crimes.
The ceremony is open to the public, and people are encouraged to attend.
There will be a reception following the ceremony. After the event, the Hill Country Tree of Angels will be in repose at Marble Falls City Hall, 800 Third St., through the Christmas season.
Go to treeofangels.org for more information.