Tiffin, Ohio — Susan Wilkinson — who owns Simply Susan’s in downtown Tiffin — and her second-cousin Amy Recker – who oversees a local Christmas Angels project – are working together to make Christmas brighter for families in need.
This year, Wilkinson has an Angel Tree in her shop at 70 S. Washington St., Tiffin, and people may select ornaments from the tree to purchase gifts for the families in the Christmas Angels program, which Recker has been organizing for six years.
The tree in Simply Susan’s is starting with about 25 tags and will be replenished as needed. People can select ornaments and return the gifts to the shop by Dec. 11.
The gifts can be wrapped before they are returned, or Simply Susan’s will wrap them at no charge.
The Christmas Angels program is in its sixth year, and Lori Smith is assisting Recker as a co-chair this year.
Six years ago, a family was having a difficult time before Christmas, particularly with finances due to unexpected surgeries, and planned to skip Christmas.
Skipping Jesus’ birthday broke Recker’s heart.
“This family was not asking for help,” according to Recker.
Recker gathered some friends, and they all came together to give the family gifts to put under the tree, a Christmas meal, household goods, gift cards for family fun, groceries and money for upcoming bills.
“Thus, Christmas Angels was formed and continues to grow each year with the number of families we help as well as so many Christmas Angels (100+) giving so generously of time, talents, treasures to make it happen,” according to Recker.
The group helped three families in the first year, six in the second year, 12 in the third year, 14 in the fourth year and 19 in the fifth year.
The Christmas Angels program is assisting about 30 families this year.
Simply Susan’s will be open every day until Christmas, starting the day after Thanksgiving.
Holiday hours are noon-4 p.m. Sunday through Tuesday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.
Wilkinson is willing to meet anyone at the store outside of regular hours.
People may call (419) 443-0882 to make an appointment.