Season of giving brings joy to the needy
by Steve Kadel
staff writer
Dec 13, 2012 | 2133 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Angel Tree at Village Market has 70 cards bearing the names of local children hoping to receive gifts this Christmas. It’s one of several ways area residents are brightening the season for those less fortunate. Photo by Tom Taylor
The Angel Tree at Village Market has 70 cards bearing the names of local children hoping to receive gifts this Christmas. It’s one of several ways area residents are brightening the season for those less fortunate. Photo by Tom Taylor
The Angel Tree is back this Christmas season along with several other ways community members can help the less fortunate.

Angel Tree provides gifts for needy children, and is located in Village Market. Jenny McDougall and Robin Washburn, who work at the market, volunteered to organize the project when they realized no one else was doing it.

Parents or others who know of a needy child may fill out an application for a gift at the market. Cards indicating the desired gift are placed on the tree and other community members may choose one to purchase.

Gifts are kept at the store for the recipients to pick up. McDougall said applications will be taken until Dec. 18 and gifts should be taken to the market by Dec. 21, if possible.

There were 70 cards on the tree as of Monday, she said. Children from newborns to age 17 may participate.

McDougall said every gift wish on the annual Angel Tree has been filled over the years, often with the help of financial donations from churches or community members.

She added that many Village Market employees have volunteered to help the project this year. “If it wasn’t for everybody pitching in, it wouldn’t happen,” McDougall said.

A variety of other groups in the community are also spreading holiday joy:

• Interact Clubhouse, which provides services to adults with chronic mental illness, is doing its annual “Pick a Stocking” gift-giving drive. Stockings that list items individual Interact Club members need are on display at Alco on South U.S. 191 through Dec. 20. Community members are invited to choose a stocking and purchase needed items, which can then be left at Alco to be picked up, or delivered to Interact at 59 North 200 East. Gifts will be distributed on Dec. 24. The group also accepts cash donations to be used for the purchase of items for Interact Club members. For more information, contact Melonie Dolphin at 435-260-0455.

• The Grand County Food Bank provides about 120 families with food each month during the winter, said spokeswoman Misty Souza. She said donations of non-perishable food or checks with which to purchase food are always welcome, and especially so during the holidays.

Those who want to contribute may stop by the food bank, 56 North 100 East, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

• Back of Beyond Books will conduct its Books for Tots program for the 11th year. Owner Andy Nettell said the store will be providing books for children at the local high school, middle school, elementary school, charter school, preschool and BEACON After School Program.

The bookstore purchases the books, then citizens choose one or more to sponsor by reimbursing the store for its cost. Back of Beyond Books donates advertising and staff time to the project.

About five boxes of books have already been delivered to schools, Nettell said. Librarians from local schools suggest needed books during the fall to get the annual program started. He said the store wants to help supplement the limited amount of money each school has to buy new books.

“It’s heartwarming to see the community rally around reading, literature and kids,” Nettell said.

• Elks Lodge 2021 in Moab is putting together food baskets for 50 families. Dan Stott said food is being purchased from donations by various community organizations and businesses.

Elks members will deliver baskets the weekend before Christmas. They will include a full Christmas meal, Stott said, including ham, potatoes, stuffing, bread, butter, oranges, apples and more. “It’s a pretty good meal for a family,” he said, adding the tradition has been going on for at least 40 years.

Besides food, Elks Lodge members are brightening the holidays with gifts for needy children. Donations to buy toys have come from members and from Moab Golf Club, which held two fundraising tournaments for the purpose this year, Stott said. The gifts will be delivered along with food baskets.

• The Veterans of Foreign Wars is following its Thanksgiving food basket distribution with more gifts of food for Christmas. VFW Quartermaster Mark Luddington said 13 baskets will be delivered along with at least one toy, a shirt, shoes and jacket for each of 19 children.

Community members filled a grocery cart at Village Market with food donations and the VFW received financial donations from local citizens to help purchase additional food. The baskets will be delivered Dec. 21, Luddington said.

The VFW identified needy children as recipients of toys and clothing through recommendations from school teachers, he said. Other names were provided from the Grand County Food Bank.

• Children from preschool through sixth grade are invited to a “Make One, Take One” event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at the Moab Arts & Recreation Center, 111 East 100 North.

Sponsored by Grand County Prevent Child Abuse, the program allows children to choose a gift for their siblings or parents as well as making arts and crafts item for themselves. Debbie Thurman of the sponsoring agency said the crafts are something that might be placed on the child’s Christmas tree at home.

Volunteers from the Grand Center and members of the honor societies from the high school and middle school will be on hand to help children make their craft items. Free hot chocolate and popcorn will be provided, and Santa Claus will be there to greet children.

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