OSCEOLA COUNTY — While planners and workers giving of their time to the annual Gifts For Kids campaign are ready to open the doors to those families taking part in the outreach, there is still time for generous donors to get a few more gifts under the collective tree and help make Christmas a little brighter for every child in Osceola County.

The GFK distribution of gifts for the holidays is set for this weekend — Saturday, Dec. 9.

With only a couple days to go, it’s never too late to drop off a gift donation at any of the sites around the county including the traditional Evart Giving Tree located at the Evart Public Library, of at the office of the Pioneer-Osceola Edition on Upton Street in Reed City.

Donations can also be dropped off at Olde Towne Printing on Main Street in Evart, or call the Pioneer at 832-5566 and the team will be glad to help get your donation to the right place at the right time.

To date, (as of the last organizational meeting), well over 100 local families will be served this year through the Gifts For Kids effort.

“The report received from LoveINC on Nov. 15 indicates that 117 households are registered with a total of 461 individuals,” reported outreach facilitator Nancy Lentz to her planning team.

LoveINC has been handling the registration aspect of the Gifts For Kids outreach for years.

As noted, distribution is planned for Saturday. The event will take place this year, as in years past, in the gymnasium of Evart Middle School.

Set up is planned to begin at 4:30 p.m. on Friday.

In addition to the annual gift distribution, county outreach organizers are planning for a special holiday food distribution at food pantries throughout the area.

These include the Marion Pantry, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Dec. 16; the Reed City Pantry, from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Dec. 10; and the Sears Pantry, from 1-4 p.m. and 7-8 p.m. on Dec. 22.

Everything is ready to go.

Gifts For Kids is a continuing blessing for hundreds of Osceola County residents - this year more than ever.

More and more children throughout Osceola County are facing a less than exciting Christmas holiday season.

Parents have lost jobs or are working fewer hours.

Prices of just about everything have been going up with little relationship to the realities of life.

It could be a rather bleak Christmas for some.

But ... folks around Osceola County are making Christmas a little happier and a bit more meaningful by once again making the county-wide Gifts for Kids program a success.

There is still time to take part.

Toys and gift items should be new and unwrapped so that they can be sorted and distributed to the right age group of children.

Food items gathered at collection sites should not include home-baked or home-canned goods.

The Gifts For Kids outreach program is in the homestretch. Don’t miss out on a chance to reach out to neighbors going through tough times during this holiday season.

Give to Gifts for Kids and make a real difference in the life of an Osceola County family.

For more information, contact Nancy Lentz, Community Resource Coordinator with the Department of Human Services (231) 796-4312.