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Gift donations brighten holiday for many children

The holidays were brighter for many children served by One Hope United programs in Collinsville, Ill., thanks to employees from the local Victoria’s Secret and Pink retail stores who donated gifts as part of the stores’ holiday Giving Tree program. 

“The Giving Tree is something I look forward to every year,” said Samantha Merlak, a Victoria’s Secret manager. “Christmas is my most favorite time of the year and I truly believe there is no greater gift than giving.” 

Employees from Victoria’s Secret and Pink, located in the St. Clair Square shopping center in Fairview Heights, Ill., chose One Hope United as the recipient of their annual program, which provides gifts for children and families in need. 

Store employees each shopped for one or two children based on “wish lists” provided by One Hope United. More than 50 children received gifts, making the retail outlets two of the largest Collinsville donors this season, said Jayme Godoyo, OHU fund development officer. 

“I love that something so small I did is going to make such a big difference in a child’s life,” added a Pink employee. 

Pictured are Victoria’s Secret and Pink store employees with holiday gifts they donated for children served by One Hope United programs in Collinsville, Ill.