'Tis the Season for Giving Angels
Mingus Union honor students boost philanthropic service
About 500 Verde Valley senior residents are getting visits from teens bearing gifts as part of the Giving Angels' efforts.
Founded by Brenda Cosse in 2004, the program brings gift-wrapped items like slippers and robes to seniors living alone and under the poverty line.
Volunteers like Mingus Union High School Seniors Leah Mount and Alison Bauers are returning to help the group meet its goal of delivering 660 gift bags. The National Honor Society officers took part last year, and the two said more members have signed up this year.
"You sit down and you get to spend time however they want to talk to you," Bauers said of volunteering with Giving Angels. "It's really fun -- they tell you so many stories, and you get to tell them what you're doing."
Mount said the two met a 103-year-old Flagstaff alumna last year who talked about her time in high school.
"I love the personalized aspect of it," Mount said.
NHS inducted about 35 new members Nov. 18, all of whom have 25 volunteer hours to complete as part of their service requirements. The group's volunteers are keeping busy during the holidays, bell-ringing for the Salvation Army and delivering gifts for another organization called the Verde Valley Caregivers.
"It'll be nice to have some of our younger members that just got inducted recently helping with us," Mount said. "That'll be fun to mix."
Two upperclassmen are going to pair up with two underclassmen, and deliver gift bags to about five seniors.
"Whatever they want to talk about, we're there to listen," Bauers said.