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This year, 36 children across Owen County are looking to have their Christmas made special by those who take a name from the angel tree, put together by the Owen County Extension Office.
The extension office’s support member, Stephanie Howard, said each year families throughout Owen County request assistance through their office.
Those who request help can get full sponsorship by attending the “Small Steps to Health and Wellness” class or participating in 16 hours of community service.
Those who sign their children up, but cannot attend the class or do community service, are moved to the angel tree.
Howard said the number of children on this year’s angel tree is way down from last year, when there were 75 children.
“They likely attended the class or did the community service this year,” Howard said.
Sixty families will receive full sponsorship this year.
The angel tree, which is located in the front lobby of the News-Herald office, contains children ranging from infants to teenagers.
Howard said she would encourage everyone to stop by the News-Herald and pick up a name.
“No child should wake up on Christmas morning and not have anything,” Howard said.
The extension office sends letters and notifies organizations and churches of the angel tree and the fully-sponsored families.
“If someone approaches a church or a member of an organization and asks for help, we ask them to send that person to us,” Howard said. “That way we know they’re not double-dipping. I’ve been here for eight years, and in those eight years I’ve never known someone to come here and then go somewhere else.”
The parents of each child on the angel tree have put down their most wanted or needed item.
Those who wish to support the angel tree can stop by the News-Herald office Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Gifts should be returned to the News-Herald office by Dec. 15.