A local non-profit gave out gifts to local veterans and their families in Santa Maria on Friday.

It’s all part of the Welcome Home Military Heroes group’s Veteran Angel Tree program.

Earlier this year, organizers placed seven trees at different businesses across the Central Coast. Hanging on the tree were cards with veterans’ wish lists. Community members could pick a card off the tree, buy what was listed on the card, and bring it back.

“It’s pretty emotional when you actually look at the tags because they’re not sitting here asking for like TVs or anything like that. They’re asking for clothing, cleaning supplies, groceries or like a grocery gift card, a gas gift card so they get back and forth to work or get their kids to school,” said Robert Tolan, Welcome Home Military Heroes co-founder.

Organizers say they gave presents to more than 280 people this year. Since the start of the program in 2018, 1,100 veterans and their families have benefited from the Veteran Angel Tree.

Link to KSBY article and video: 280+ veterans receive gifts thanks to Veteran Angel Tree program (ksby.com)