Because Christmas can be a difficult time once people's lives have changed forever by crime and life tragedies, VOCAL bring an annual ceremony to survivors, family and friends to honour their journeys and memories.
Amongst others who truly understand suffering, grief, loss and challenges, we will place our special angel ornaments onto the strong, supportive arms of VOCAL Christmas tree, building together our 2016 Christmas Tree of Angels.
In 1991, the ‘Tree of Angels’ project was initiated in Austin, Texas USA by ‘People Against Violent Crime’ who wanted to do something that recognised how particularly difficult the Christmas and New Year holiday season is for people whose lives have been shattered by violent crime. The idea has spread within the US and to other parts of the world.
VOCAL Inc NSW share the concept with our community, starting here in Newcastle in 2004.
The simple idea includes a ceremony honouring our angels, whereby individuals bring their personal angel ornament to place on the tree. Together we build The Vocal Christmas Tree of Angels in memory of lives lost or changed by crime, sudden death and tragedy.
Once The Christmas Tree is filled with our angels, the Christmas lights are lit and we have built a spectacular expression of love, shared loss and community support.
Each year our ceremony changes a little, but always the gratitude of the people is heartfelt. The descriptions include ’beautiful’, ‘healing’ and always appreciation by those who told us how the gathering reminded them they were not alone in sorrow, that others did understand their pain.
We conclude the evening with a light supper afterwards that allows old friends and new acquaintances to meet.