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Ennis Daily News

Gift-giving program suspended in Ennis

For some families in the community this year, Christmas might be something they are unfortunately left out of.
Due to a restructuring of the program that is jointly organized by Helping Hands of Ennis and Jeannie Spaniel with the Tots for Tots students at Ennis ISD, children that normally received toys through that program will not be able to do so this year.
The program is going through some changes to better serve the community and Spaniel says it will take a different approach this year.
“We are planning on holding a food drive and turning it all over to the people at Helping Hands so they can distribute it to families in need,” she said. “Also, we will be collecting any spare change the kids bring in to provide items for families that have been displaced and are working with the A-CROSS organization. We hope to bring back the toy program next year when it can be organized a little better.”
Her sentiments are echoed by Helping Hands thrift store manager Tisha Brown who said while not being involved with the toy program this year is disappointing, it is necessary to be able to serve the community in the future.
"It is unfortunate that the program is going to be put on hold this year but it is necessary to overhaul the way things are done to make sure the families that need help are taken care of," she said. "Unfortunately it means that families in the community will have to rely on other programs for help with toys this year."
One option for families is the Ellis County Salvation Army, which is located in Waxahachie. The agency relies on donations from community members and businesses that adopt children off of their "angel trees" for gifts and toys at Christmas. However, Captain Lola Maldonaldo of the Ellis County office said there are no angel trees in Ennis for community members to choose children from to donate to.
"We usually have businesses or churches that ask to host an angel tree so members of the community can choose to adopt a child to buy presents for, but we do not have a presence in the Ennis area this year," Maldonaldo said. "Our deadline to return gifts for this year’s program is Dec. 8 and we hope that all of the children that need gifts get adopted."
Maldonaldo added that due to the economy and a shortage of donors the guidelines families had to meet to be eligible for the program were quite stringent.
"Due to tougher guidelines, families that may have qualified last year did not this year so there may be more families that are looking for help with Christmas gifts this year."
In an effort to help with the families needing assistance in the Ennis community the Ennis Daily News will be collecting toys until Dec. 15 for area children. The toys will then be distributed to area churches where they will be given to families in need. Unwrapped toys for children up to the age of 13 will be collected at the Ennis Daily News office, located at 213 N. Dallas St.

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Posted by on Nov 29 2008. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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