Outreach program makes holiday season brighter for Osceola kids, families EVART — With Christmas just around the corner, dozens of people spent this past Saturday morning ‘shopping’ for holiday gifts for the kids, (and some older family members too.) The event was part of the annual Gifts for Kids outreach program in Osceola County. Over the past few months and more, volunteers have been collecting an astonishing variety of toys, clothes, books, and other goodies for distribution to families in need - neighbors going through tough times. After registering with LoveINC, family representatives were invited to the Evart Middle School gymnasium Saturday to pick out a little something for everyone in the family - brightening the holiday season for every youngster in Osceola County. No one needed to go without. In addition to the toys and gift items, special food baskets are being prepared for holiday distribution through area food pantries. At last count, some 117 families benefitted from the outreach, and all those many volunteers involved with the program — from gatherers, to setter-uppers, to wrappers — benefited as well from the very special feeling that comes from reaching out and helping neighbor in times of need. The gymnasium was packed with presents, each table arranged by age group to make choosing the perfect gift that much easier. Staff of volunteers were at each table, helping family representative make their selections, and directing them to the wrapping table where each and every gift could be gaily wrapped before finding a place under the tree at home. While it was bitterly cold outside, it was warm in the gym and not just because the heat was cranked up. Hearts were warmed and spirits uplifted. The Gifts For Kids effort demonstrated the joy of giving as well as the fun of receiving — and especially at this time of year. Now, planners sit down, analyze the latest Gifts For Kids effort, and already begin looking forward to the year to come.