SPIRIT OF SEASON BOOSTS TOY DRIVE

December 23, 2001 11:00 pm
VOLUNTEERS AT WORK: Wanda Wixom of La Grande sets up the Toy & Joy store at the Salvation Army Thursday afternoon. The store gives children whose names weren't chosen from the gift trees a chance to pick out a gift for themselves. Helping out in the background is Peggy Sutton of Cove. Both women are volunteers for the non-profit organization. (The Observer/KELLY WARD).
VOLUNTEERS AT WORK: Wanda Wixom of La Grande sets up the Toy & Joy store at the Salvation Army Thursday afternoon. The store gives children whose names weren't chosen from the gift trees a chance to pick out a gift for themselves. Helping out in the background is Peggy Sutton of Cove. Both women are volunteers for the non-profit organization. (The Observer/KELLY WARD).

By Alice Perry Linker

Observer Staff Writer

Boxes of food with goodies for all, bright shiny toys for good girls and boys these are a few of the favorite things of Christmas.

The Salvation Army and other charitable groups in Union County have been working to make sure that all families get a few of their favorite things this holiday season.

We served at least 200 families, said Orpha Moody about the Salvation Armys Christmas food baskets and Toy and Joy store. We were inundated with calls for food and toys.

Most families arrived Friday to receive their baskets and pick out toys for the children, but a few more were expected to arrive before noon today.

We want every child to get two toys,Moody said this morning. I think after this morning, well be very slim.

The toys began arriving at Salvation Army headquarters Thursday afternoon, and several volunteers, including the Armys advisory board, also helped.

Moody said she especially appreciates the work of the La Grande High School Leadership Club, and Central School Principal Bruce Kevan.

He brought his family and they helped all day, she said. The volunteers saved us. It worked out great.

The gift buyers also were generous, she said. The Salvation Army put up an angel tree in Wal-Mart and Dennys Restaurant. Hanging on the tree were gift tags with the childs age, sex, clothing size and a preferred toy. Givers were asked to spend a minimum of $35 on each child.

Everybody was very generous; we appreciate what everybody did, she said. Even in these hard times, people have been generous.

For those who dont receive food baskets or prefer not to cook, a special Christmas dinner will be served from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Presbyterian Friendship Center. There is no charge for the dinner, but a free-will offering is accepted.

The dinner, organized by Neighbor to Neighbor Ministries, is also sponsored by many local churches.