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Happier holiday

 

Team UT-Battelle volunteers (from left) Jody Mullins, Sheila Ross and Michelle Pawel collect Angel Tree gifts at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.Team UT-Battelle volunteers (from left) Jody Mullins, Sheila Ross and Michelle Pawel collect Angel Tree gifts at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. (hi-res image)

Volunteers for Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Team UT-Battelle Angel Tree effort delivered clothing and gifts to area community agencies and schools this week. The items will brighten the holiday season for 240 needy children.

The gifts range from bikes to toys to clothes. Employees can also make monetary donations. In fact, members of the Atomic Labor & Trades Council, the laboratory bargaining unit, contributed $500.

The laboratory's Angel Tree is electronic: Lab staff members can access a web page that offers anonymous selections of children from surrounding counties including Anderson, Roane, Loudon, Morgan, Union, Blount, Campbell and Knox. The donor can then donate a gift based on the child's age, gender, size and interests provided by the website. As in past years, all 240 of the tree's virtual "ornaments" were selected.

Cathy Cheverton has helped the committee organize the annual effort since the late 1990s. She said the Angel Tree's children come from a list of sources -- supplied either from social service agencies or suggested by employees -- that has grown over the years.

"We've been doing it so long it's like a well-oiled machine," she said.

This year's 25 volunteers, all of whom gave at least 10 hours of time to the project, included Team UT-Battelle co-captains Mary Sue Hamilton and Shirley North.

Team UT-Battelle is ORNL's community service organization consisting of volunteer projects proposed, coordinated and led by ORNL staff members. Teams in 2012 logged 15 projects comprising 1,500 volunteers that included construction of a house for Aid to Distressed Families of Appalachian Counties, participation in area educational events including science fairs, and the organization of teams for a range of local charity events.

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.

 -  Bill Cabage,  865.574.4399,  December 07, 2012
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