December 20, 2007

Local Charity Groups Working to Insure Merry Christmas For All

For most folks, the idea of trimming a Christmas tree means placing lights and decorations on the display. But for more than 120 area residents, this year’s Christmas tree was all about stripping the limbs bare.

The pine needles were left behind, but two very special Christmas trees in Memphis were stripped of their decorations the past few weeks. The police and the sheriff’s department got involved, but not to investigate the missing adornments. Everyone was happy to see all of the “ornaments” gone from the Santa’s Helpers tree at Pamida and the Angel Tree at the Scotland County Care Center.

Local donors were responsible for the missing decorations. Each tree ornament came complete with a Christmas wish list. Santa’s Helpers insured that 58 Scotland County children will have a special Christmas. The program allows shoppers to select an anonymous card, listing only the recipient’s age along with clothes sizes and a few gift ideas.

Non-shoppers also participated in the program with financial support or by making additional donations of gifts.

“At a minimum, we insure that each child receives at least one outfit of clothing and three or four toys or other gift items,” said organizer Michele Drummond.

The holiday bundles are delivered, along with a special gift basket for the family that includes food items for a Christmas dinner. These special deliveries are handled by the Memphis Police Department, the Scotland County Sheriff’s Department and other volunteers.

The Angle Tree at the Scotland County Care Center saw all 74 ornaments disappear prior to the nursing home’s Christmas party on December 6th.

“The Joy Group, U.S. Bank, area churches and a number of staff members joined with other donors to insure there was no angel left behind on the tree,” said Lisa Schultz of the Care Center.

The event helped insure that residents at the facility received something special to help ring in the holiday season.

“These types of events are what make us so happy to call Memphis home,” Drummond said. “Two years ago there was a family that signed up for aid from Santa’s Helpers. After the hard times were weathered, that same family was back this year, but as donors not recipients. That’s what it is all about.”

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