by Julie Ann Madden
Akron has three special Christmas trees in its midst. Each tree has a special purpose: to bring the Christmas Spirit to those who may not otherwise have gifts to open Christmas morning.
Caring Hearts Gifts
The first tree is called a “Caring Hearts” tree at Thorson Drug. The white rectangular tags contain the names of Akron Care Center residents. People are encouraged to take a tag, purchase gifts for the resident and then return the gifts to Thorson Drug by Friday, Dec. 14.
The gifts will be distributed at a “Caring Hearts” Party, which is at 2 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 19. Residents enjoy singing Christmas carols, opening gifts and eating Christmas goodies provided by the Care Center Auxiliary.
Hats, Mittens & Scarves
The second tree is a “Hats, Mittens and Scarves” tree at Security National Bank. People are asked to donate hats, mittens and scarves which will be distributed to area children so they can be warm and protected from wintry conditions. Please bring the items to Security National Bank by Monday, Dec. 17.
This special tree is decorated by Akron-Westfield fourth graders. At 7 p.m. that evening, Security National Bank employees will host a Christmas party for the students where the winners of the Ornament Contest will be announced and prizes awarded. Fourth graders and their families will enjoy a visit from Santa, singing Christmas carols and refreshments.
Gifts & Food Baskets
The third tree is at Peoples Bank. It is decorated with Christmas tree-shaped green tags. Each tag has the Christmas List of a local child whose family receives services from Mid-Sioux Opportunity Inc.
People are asked to take a tag, purchase gifts for the child and then return the gifts to the bank by Thursday, Dec. 13.
The Mid-Sioux Office, which is located in the Akron Senior Center, also includes the Akron Food Pantry.
The pantry is coordinated by Deb McPherson of Akron. The food pantry helps local families to not go hungry. She plans to give 30 – 40 local families Christmas food baskets this month.
People are asked to donate nonperishable food items and/or Maynard’s Foods gift certificates or monetary contributions to fill these baskets.
The food products cannot have passed the expiration dates and any meat donated must have a USDA certified label or stamp.
If enough cash is available, families may also receive help with automobile gasoline and rent payments.
The Akron Food Pantry is open from 10 a.m. to Noon the first and third Mondays of each month. The Akron Food Pantry will be open Monday, Dec. 17.
If people cannot make it to the office during those time periods, they just need to call McPherson’s cell phone, 712-548-6592, to set up an appointment to receive help and/or make donations.