ORLANDO, Fla. – The Christmas spirit was high at Embassy Suites by Hilton on International Drive on Tuesday, as thousands of gifts were dropped off as part of the annual Angels on I-Drive event.
Hotels, resorts, restaurants, stores and other local businesses along the International Drive corridor collected clothes, shoes, bikes, and toys for more than 800 children. The toys were then bagged by company volunteers, packed on the I-Drive Trolley and taken on a ride to The Salvation Army for the Angel Tree program.
Joanne Helbourg and nine of her coworkers at Wyndham Vacation Rentals chose the Angel Tree program as part of a “giving day” with the company. She said the personalized shopping is a special touch, and recalled searching for toys for an 18-month-old girl.
“When you read her wish-list, that might be the only time she can ask for a dollhouse or a pair of roller skates. It's like, there's that personal connection behind it,” Helbourg said.
The Angels on I-Drive event accounts for 25 percent of all of the angels adopted through the Angel Tree program. This is the 16th year I-Drive businesses have participated in the event.