Lily Philbrook’s 8th Annual Virtual Angel Tree
Lily Philbrook is a senior at Ellsworth High School and Hancock County Technical Center. For the past 7 years she has set up an Angel Tree for children at The Grand in downtown Ellsworth. This year, because of COVID-19 she has gone virtual, and is posting a list of angel tags on her Facebook Page "Lily's 2020 Virtual Angel Tree"
She has 45 Angel Tags from the Emmaus Shelter in downtown Ellsworth. If you are interested in fulfilling one of these tags and making someone's Christmas dream come true, please go to her page and mark that you are taking this tag. There you'll find the current list of what tags haven't been taken.
Here are the original list of 45 tags.
- Tag 1 - Olivia Age 2 - Ride on Toy
- Tag 2 - Grace Age 11 - Ear Buds
- Tag 4 - Liam Age 3 - Twin Size Comforter
- Tag 5 - Mia Age 9 - Science Kit
- Tag 7 - Ethan Age 12 - Portable Speaker
- Tag 9 - Harper (Boy) Age 7 - Remote Control Toy
- Tag 10 - Justin Age 17 - Full Size Comforter
- Tag 11 - Meagan Age 13 - Make Up TAKEN
- Tag 12 - Lucas Age 1 - Learn and Play Toy
- Tag 13 - Will Age 5 - Art Supplies TAKEN
- Tag 14 - Samantha Age 13 - Jewelry Kit
- Tag 15 - Freya Age 6 months - Sensory Toy
- Tag 16 - Ava Age 7 - Barbies
- Tag 17 - Destiny Age 6 - Disney
- Tag 18 - Brody Age 10 - Jewelry Kit
- Tag 19 - Kaleb Age 13 - Science Kit
- Tag 20 - Jessica Age 15 - Full Size Comforter
- Tag 21 - Alex Age 12 - Art Kit
- Tag 22 - Robin Age 1 - Learn to Walk Toy
- Tag 23 - Josh Age 8 - Science Kit
- Tag 24 - Lizzy Age 11 - Legos
- Tag 25 - Samantha Age 6 - Barbie
- Tag 26 - Jessica Age 13 - Alarm Clock Radio
- Tag 27 - Brandon Age 14 - Basketball Games
- Tag 28 - Laney Age 9 - Craft Kit
- Tag 29 - Bell Age 10 - Mp3/Mp4 Player
- Tag 30 - Michael Age 15 - Remote Control Toy
- Tag 31 - Connor Age 4 - Ride on Toy TAKEN
- Tag 32 - Ashlyn Age 4 - Ride on Toy
- Tag 33 - Savannah Age 11 - Science Kit
- Tag 34 - Brent Age 13 - Ear Buds
- Tag 35 - Jessica Age 11 - Art Suppies
- Tag 36 - Chloe Age 2 - Learn to Walk Toy
- Tag 37 - Wyatt Age 5 - Ride on Toy
- Tag 39 - Karl Age 5 - Simple Puzzles
- Tag 40 - Evelyn Age 12 - Ear Buds
- Tag 41 - Layla Age 4 - Ride on Toys
- Tag 42 - Sophia Age 9 months - Play Mat and Gym
- Tag 43 - Arie Age 15 - Ear Buds
- Tag 44 - James Age 16 - Science Kit
- Tag 45 - Hannah Age 14 - Wallet
- Tag 46 - Darci Age 4 - Ride on Toy
- Tag 47 - Nolan Age 12 - Ear Buds
- Tag 48 - Matt Age 5 - Puzzles TAKEN
- Tag 49 - Maddy Age 13 - Mp3/Mp4 Player
Lily explains why she started the Angel Trees 8 years ago
I first realized the importance of giving back in December of 2012. As a 9-year-old little girl ecstatic for all the Christmas festivities, such as going in and out of decoration packed stores, singing along to Christmas music, asking about Santa Claus, and when the most appropriate time to send him a letter would be; all the little things we experience as young children. As the time for Christmas shopping started full swing I would frequently visit our local Walmart with my stepmom and admire the biggest Christmas tree I had ever seen. With such tiny stature and lack of perception, I was in awe at how large the tree was, wrapped in classic lights and red and gold trimmings. But this tree was different, it wasn't covered in shiny spherical ornaments. It was Covered in paper Angels. I remembered this day fondly as I asked all of the typical “why” questions every small child recites upon new exposure. Finding out that the angels were for providing support to families in need during the holiday season, I scoured the tree to read some of the wishes. I found an unidentified little girl, 9 years old, who wanted a Monster-High doll. Of course, I had to convince my Stepmom to let me pick out a doll for her as I too was interested in receiving some for my toy collection this Christmas. Without hesitation, we removed the tag and headed to the toy aisle, picking two dolls to purchase.
Now here we are as time went on and as most young kids do, I had lost a recurring recollection of the events that happened on that trip to Walmart, as I went about my everyday activities of saving the stuffed animal who visited my toy veterinary clinic, or “reading” my Judy B. Jones books. A few weeks had passed as I continued my routine until Christmas rolled around. Living in a split family meant multiple Christmases and it came time to go visit my mom's side of the family on Christmas Eve.
In December of 2013, now 10 years old I partnered with the Maine Seacoast Mission - setting up my own tree. Now approaching 18 and what will soon be my 8th year of providing the Angel Tree, three organizations later, I have helped give back to 582 children and families.
Just remember, It doesn't take somebody big and strong to make a difference. I came from a basic background and have gone through my fair share of unfortunate events. Being premature and facing many medical “roadblocks” as I was welcomed to the world, spending my first few months in the NICU on constant oxygen and feeding machines at all hours of the day until I found the strength to do the mere act of swallowing. By no means was I supposed to grow up and be “big and strong” or able to make such a change. I believe that was destined by fate to start me in becoming who I am today: determined, committed, kind-hearted, and hard-working.