Public helps bring Christmas to needy Owen County kids

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By Molly Haines

With the nation suffering through an economical crisis, many people throughout Owen County became angels to 76 boys and girls on this year’s angel tree.

The angel tree started out with 54 children but as the weeks passed by, more and more parents went through the Owen County Extension Office to receive assistance for their children.

The extension office’s support member, Stephanie Howard, said 76 is the highest number of children the records show, which go back to 1994.

“With the economy being the way it is and so many people losing their jobs, not everyone can purchase a gift for their child and make ends meet,” Howard said. “More and more people signed up who needed assistance but didn’t meet the guidelines for full assistance.”

Howard said 52 families received full assistance, which was up from last year.

“All kinds of people will sponsor a family,” Howard said. “This year we had individuals, businesses, classrooms, homemakers and churches sponsor an entire family.”

Howard said the presents will be distributed to children on the angel tree and families Thursday.

“When the families or individuals sign up, they are given a letter,” Howard said. “On the day we hand out presents they are to present that letter to us and then we give them their gifts. We did have several this year that chose to deliver the presents to the families themselves.”

Howard said if it weren’t for angels in Owen County, some may have gone without this season.

“Thanks to all who have picked up angels at the News-Herald office or sponsored a family,” Howard said. “If it weren’t for them, a lot of these children may have not received anything for Christmas.”