July-August 2013

How to host a Tree of Angels in your community

Verna Lee Carr

Victim Advocate ­Specialist at People Against Violent Crime in Austin

The Tree of Angels is a meaningful Christmas program specifically held in memory and support of victims of violent crime. The Tree of Angels allows a community to recognize that the holiday season is a difficult time for families and friends who have suffered the crushing impact of a violent crime.
    This special event honors and supports surviving victims and victims’ families by making it possible for loved ones to bring an angel ornament to place on a Christmas tree. The first program was implemented in December 1991 by People Against Violent Crime (PAVC) in Austin. Over the past 22 years the Tree of Angels has become a memorable tradition observed in many communities, providing comfort, hope, support, and healing.
    A how-to guide is available electronically on how to establish a Tree of Angels ceremony in your community. The Tree of Angels is a registered trademark of PAVC and we are extremely sensitive to ensuring that the original meaning and purpose of the Tree of Angels continues and is not distorted in any way. For this reason, PAVC asks that if your city or county is interested in receiving a copy of the how-to guide, please complete a basic informational form on the website http://treeofangels.org/index.html. After the form is completed electronically and submitted back to PAVC, you will receive instructions on how to download the how-to guide. Once you receive confirmation and are provided with the instructions, you will be able to download the guide.
    Please do not share it to avoid unauthorized use or distribution of the material. If you have any questions regarding the how-to guide, contact Carol Tompkins at PAVC at 512/837-7282, or e-mail her at [email protected].