The Garden City Telegram

Angel aid

Program brightens holiday for local families in need.

Halloween barely was in the rear-view mirror when signs of Christmas started to appear.

As the holiday season draws closer, look for shoppers to move with purpose in snatching up the hot toys of the year for their children.

The annual spending spree ends up with many youngsters waking up on Christmas morning to find the toys of their dreams. For some less fortunate, however, the day comes and goes with little or nothing in the way of gifts.

Locally, the Salvation Army's annual Angel Tree program has worked to fill the void each year by collecting donated toys to be distributed to needy families on their list.

The Salvation Army recently started accepting applications for this year's Angel Tree recipients in Finney County.

Salvation Army officials know families that meet the stringent income requirements don't have dollars to spare for gifts. A rise in the percentage of people in poverty has made the situation worse.

The Salvation Army does its best to make sure everyone who applies has toys and clothes to wrap up and place under their Christmas trees. At times, though, it's been difficult to meet the demand. The local Angel Tree program has served some 900 children each year, and often has a waiting list.

No one should be comfortable enjoying their own holiday bounty knowing children in the community don't have a gift to unwrap on Christmas.

"Angels" who make the program possible range from companies and corporations to private individuals who purchase Angel Tree gift items. All involved hope to make Christmas brighter for needy families in our midst.

It's also heartwarming to know many past recipients of Angel Tree gift donations end up contributing to the program when their own financial situations improve.

When Christmas rolls around each year, it helps to keep the emphasis on the meaning of the holiday.

Those among us who have something extra to give have an opportunity to show the true spirit of the season by purchasing a reasonably priced Angel Tree gift that wouldn't burden most budgets, but could help brighten a child's holiday.