Playing Santa |

Playing Santa

Christmas program accepting donations

Amy Hamilton

It’s because of the tears of joy on parents’ faces when they pick up donated toys for their children that has kept the Christmas for Kids tradition alive in Craig for past decade.

“The day they pick up the toys, people are crying they are so happy,” organizer Georgina McAnally said. “Everybody gets so thankful. I don’t think the program would have continued for this long if it was not working.”

The Christmas for Kids program is seeking donors to help needy children and seniors have a brighter holiday season. Those interested can pick a tag off a Christmas tree near the entrance of Kmart and purchase the suggested gift displayed on the tag.

Applications also are being accepted from people who would like to receive a gift through the program. Recipients qualify if they are on government assistance or qualify under other financial guidelines. People can nominate others for the program, McAnally said. Applications are available at the United Way office, 651 Yampa Ave., or at American Northwest Realty, 105 E. Victory Way. Applications are due Dec. 10.

Names of recipients are kept private, McAnally said.

“We don’t want to embarrass anybody,” she said. “If people know of anybody who has lost a job or needs something they should feel free to nominate them.”

Christmas for Kids recently expanded to include senior citizens. Popular gifts for seniors include bath towels, coffee pots, can openers, lap blankets and sweaters. Donors also have the option of purchasing seniors meals through the Meals on Wheels programs.

Distribution of the gifts is Dec. 18 at the former Cook Chevrolet building, 211 W. Fourth St. The Craig Police Department is continuing with its refurbished bicycle program. Children have the opportunity to get an unclaimed bike.

Last year, the program distributed presents to 230 children and some seniors, McAnally said.

“Every little bit helps,” she said. “I think every child deserves a new toy on Christmas.”

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