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Optimists Angel Tree Radiothon Set For Friday

The Optimist Club’s annual Angel Tree radiothon will be held this Friday, Dec. 2, from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m.

The angel tree is a project that the Optimist Club does every year to help provide gifts to families and children who may not receive any gifts for Christmas.

The trees, which can be found around town, have pink and blue angels with child’s age, gender, clothing sizes and a toy that they might want. Individuals take those angels and purchase gifts that they think the child may like and turn them in to the Optimist Club.

The child’s name is never divulged to those buying gifts and only a few choice Optimists know the names of the children along with the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office, who is instrumental in helping deliver the gifts.

The radiothon is meant as a supplement to this project. The radiothon raises money which goes to fund gifts for all the children who were not selected from the tree. This ensures that everyone gets a gift and has a merry Christmas.

Local Optimist Gloria Sande tells the story that really got her involved in the angel tree project. She said that she heard about a family with around 13 members. This family was in a bad situation and barely had any furniture in the house and certainly couldn’t afford gifts for all the children. Sande and fellow optimist Elsie Hansen got some gifts for the children and delivered them to the family early knowing that they would probably open their gifts ahead of time.

Sande said that, after a few days, she discovered that the children hadn’t opened the gifts and when asked why, they replied that they wanted to open them on Christmas so that they could be like all of the other children.

“So, I was bawling by then,” said Sande, “and that’s when I really got into the idea of the angel tree project.”

Sande said that they always try to get the children a few clothing items, at least one age-appropriate toy and fruit/snacks.

After all of the gifts for area children are collected, the RCSO delivers the gifts to the families and children.

She said that the group never knows how many children will be part of the angel tree project every year, but that they always wind up servicing between 75 and 150 local youth.

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