MUSC holds 19th Annual Angel Tree Parade of Toys

December 06, 2022
MUSC employees pick up bags filled with gifts for children at the Angel Tree Parade. One is dressed as the Grinch. Others are wearing festive sweaters and hats.
MUSC employees with bags of gifts for children whose families need a helping hand this year. MUSC adopted half of the 2,000 children whose families applied for the Salvation Army's Angel Tree program. Photo by Sarah Pack

For the first time since 2019, there were bagpipes on Bee Street, peppermints on President Street and Santa Claus himself rode down Calhoun Street. The MUSC Angel Tree Parade of Toys returned from its two-year hiatus on Friday, with MUSC President David Cole, M.D., atop the leading float. The parade not only signified the start of the holiday season, but also a return to normalcy for the MUSC community.

People on a red and white float wave to people standing along the Angel Tree Parade route. 
Colorful floats dotted the parade route, which began on Ehrhardt Street and ended on the Charleston Medical District Greenway. Photo by Sarah Pack

For nearly two decades, the Angel Tree Parade has kicked off the holiday season for MUSC, but as with many events over the last couple of years, the parade wasn’t held due to the pandemic. As Cole’s float proceeded down the road, he and the trio of Disney princesses were a clear example to spectators young and old that holiday festivities have returned to campus. 

A girl in a wheelchair with green wheels looks up as a woman holds a cellphone. They are at the Angel Tree Parade. 
While the parade delights families and children, it also celebrates the community's giving spirit. Photo by Sarah Pack

Behind Cole in the parade were canine companions from MUSC’s therapy dog program. They were followed by several groups from the Omar Shriners, MUSC’s newest partner. The Coastal Belle singers provided Christmas carols throughout the parade around MUSC’s campus ahead of the big man himself, Santa Claus, who closed out the parade in a red convertible Mustang.

Two women smiles while holding gifts for children selected in the Angel Tree program at MUSC. 
Employees from across MUSC's multiple campuses, including the Parkshore Office, participated in Angel Tree program. Here, Parkshore's Sharon Dupree-Capers, left, and Monique Hazel help gather gifts for delivery. Photo by Cindy Abole

As always, the event is part parade, part donation celebration. At the parade’s end at the Charleston Medical District Greenway was a large collection of toys and children's clothes. The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program provides Christmas gifts for thousands of children each year. Each angel is represented by a tag with some basic information on it, including the child’s holiday wishes. Employees and visitors took the tags over the last few weeks, purchased several gifts for each child and returned them to MUSC before the parade.

Santa waves while sitting on the back of a red convertible. 
Santa rides in style in a car perfectly matched to his suit. Photo by Sarah Pack

As the parade concluded, participants joined students and health care workers on the Greenway. Dozens of bikes sat next to numerous bags of toys and clothes. Multiple box trucks and lots of help was needed to pack everything up for the Salvation Army. As the trucks were packed full of toys, Santa took a seat and took note of the wishes of each child in attendance; the surest sign that the holidays are here.

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