Programs need local participation

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 2, 2002

The shopping season is well underway. Many packed local stores Friday morning to get in on sales and discounts during those early hours.

The Friday after Thanksgiving, however, is only one of the busiest shopping days of the season.

Many will be finding gifts for their loved ones up until Christmas Eve.

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Still others will not have the luxury to spend their hard-earned dollars on Christmas presents.

We encourage residents to think of those that cannot afford gifts for their children and look for ways to help.

Their are many local programs in which residents can donate gifts or money to make the holidays better for those who are less fortunate.

The Salvation Army's Angel Tree has been set up at Oak Park Mall. The name and age of the child are on ornaments on the tree. While shopping, consider one or more of the children represented on the tree and pick up something extra. The gift will certainly brighten a child's Christmas.

The Salvation Army also has the Toys for Tots program. In this toy drive, the Army collects unwrapped toys for those less-fortunate.

One age group to consider in this program are teenagers. Gifts geared toward older children are often forgotten even though teenagers look forward to Christmas as much as younger children.

While shopping, residents also can take a few seconds to donate to the Salvation Army kettles, which bell ringers loyally staff each year.

In the midst of holiday stress, it can be easy to forget these holiday programs. We encourage all residents to consider how they can help fellow community members enjoy the holidays.