Gifts for Kids planning continues
OSCEOLA COUNTY — Plans are well underway for the annual Gifts for Kids distribution in Osceola County, but there’s still lots of work to be done.
A meeting last Wednesday afternoon offered an update on what’s happened and what needs to happen before the big Gifts for Kids distribution takes place at Evart Middle School on Dec. 10.
Lots of volunteers are coming forward to help with the huge event, and still more are needed. Pre-event registration is being handled by Love INC and Baker College volunteers. That action started on Oct. 17, and continues now.
Actual event registrations have been confirmed for Dec. 10, with Sears Food Pantry volunteers taking care of children’s needs up through 3 years of age, while Sacred Heart, St. Agnes and St. Philip Catholic Churches will handle the 4- to 7-year-old responsibilities.
Reed City St. Paul Lutheran Church has agreed to register those coming to receive items for 8 through 12 years old, and the Reed City United Methodist Church will handle gift registrations for the teens.
Community volunteers will take care of those receiving adult and household gifts.
Other churches confirming that they will take part this year likely will include LeRoy United Methodist with the book area, Reed City Church of the Nazarene Youth will do gift wrapping, Covenant Evangelical Church will take care of the hats, mitten and socks, and Zion and Augustana Lutheran Church will handle games.
Home and personal products baskets will find Barb Hazlett and the Reed City Church of the Nazarene Youth handling that, and Evart Free Methodist Church will provide food for the volunteers.
It may seem such a simple thing to gather gifts and pass them out, but there is a whole lot to be done before, during and after.
Arrangements for facilities must be made, and this year the set-up will be on Friday, December 9. Paperwork has been submitted for various locations, but in some instances replies have not been received.
One of the items stressed at the meeting is the importance of making sure all areas stay set up until the last family comes through.
Additional drop-off sites are needed to collect gifts for the distribution. Anyone wishing to assist in that important area may contact Nancy Lentz at the Mecosta-Osceola DHS (231) 796-4312, or any of the churches involved in order to offer gifts or money to help purchase gifts so no child goes without a Christmas, or to volunteer help.
Food distributions will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 10 at the Reed City Food Pantry, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 16 at the Marion Food Pantry, and from 1 to 3 p.m. on Dec. 21 at Tustin, and then at Sears from 1 to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 22.
So far 47 heads of houses have registered as of November 2, with a total of 52 females and 84 males in those particular homes.
More drop-off sites are needed. Forms to fill out are in area businesses. If your business has not received such forms and you would like to either provide them or serve as a drop-off site, contact the Mecosta-Osceola DHS, Love INC, or any of the locations listed in this article.
Other groups and individuals are welcome to help in this growing project. It is hoped that some groups such as honor society students, leadership classes, additional school community service programs, and others will provide assistance at set-ups, serving, and take-downs.