Spirit of giving grows in annual Angel Tree program

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By Molly Haines

For many people across Owen County, Christmas is a tough time. Parents scramble to make ends meet and provide their children with the best Christmas possible; and each year the Owen County Extension Office provides many with a little extra help.

The extension office’s support member, Stephanie Howard, said each year families throughout Owen County request assistance through their office.

“Families come out to the office and sign up for support,” Howard said. “For full support those signing up have to attend two classes: ‘Small Steps to Health and Wealth’ and a budget training class. Then they must do 10 hours of community service. Those who sign their kids up and cannot attend the classes or do community service are moved to the angel tree.”

The angel tree, which is located in the front lobby of the News-Herald office, contains 54 children this year, ranging from infants to teenagers.

Howard said she would encourage everyone to stop by the News-Herald and pick up a name.

“I hate to see a child not get anything for Christmas,” Howard said. “You can always spend $15 to $20 on another child to help make their Christmas special.”

Howard said the parents of each child on the angel tree have put down their most wanted or needed item.

“There’s only one item listed for each child, but a lot of people will buy the child two or three presents,” Howard said.

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.

Howard said those who would like to personally deliver their gifts should stop by the extension office for a name and address.