Time to share your Christmas

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Over 430 children in need will be given the opportunity to celebrate Christmas this year thanks to the generosity of local churches, businesses and area residents.

"I'm continually amazed at how this community steps up at Christmas," said Gail Reed, Barry County OACAC director. "A lot of people do a lot of different things and that's what makes it all work."

Several businesses in Cassville are currently displaying Christmas trees decorated with ornaments that detail specific needs expressed by the children. Ornaments can be found at each of the local banks, and other places such as Fasco, Justin Boots and Able 2.

Those who take an ornament and fulfill a child's wish are asked to return their gift unwrapped to the place where the ornament was obtained by Monday, Dec. 16. Volunteers will pick up the items the following day and deliver them to the Methodist Church. Another group of volunteers then separates the items and pack them by family. Distribution will take place on Dec. 18.

Financial donations can also be made directly to the program at the OACAC Barry County Neighborhood Center, 700 E. Highway 248, Cassville. Reed also commented on the efforts of Herrin Animal Hospital located at 93 Smithson Dr., Cassville.

"Dr. Herrin has a toy drive every year, and they have a big box at their office," said Reed. "They do an open house sometime during the first part of December."

Those interested in adopting a family, which is another option, should visit Reed at the neighborhood center who will match up your interests with an available family.

"Years ago we had a lady who didn't have any daughters of her own so when she adopted she always wanted to adopt a family with little girls," said Reed. "We also had a family that shared their Christmas with each other by adopting a family with the same amount of kids that they had."

Each year, Share Your Christmas seems to bring out the best in the community with toy drives, donations, toy purchases, family adoptions and the efforts of students at Cassville High School involved in the Mr. and Miss Merry Christmas program. Reed sees the need as constant and one that is met by a large number of contributors and volunteers.

"The need doesn't seem to change to me," said Reed. "What I see is that there are just a lot of families who don't have the capability of getting anything for their kids for Christmas. It's so great to me that we have a program here that can help these families make sure their kids will get Christmas presents."

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