Release Date: 11/17/2009
Clarksville, Ark. --- Christmas is just around the corner, but for some families in the community, the holiday season can be a bleak one.
For 16 years, the University of the Ozarks Women (UOW) has brought Christmas to those who might not otherwise experience it with their Christmas Angels project.
“Christmas Angels is a wonderful project,” says UOW President Connie Booty, “and a perfect opportunity for our organization to work with our community to bring some joy to the many in our small part of the world who so desperately need it this season.”
The UOW, in coordination with the Department of Human Services (DHS), provides gifts of toys and clothing for children in Johnson County, from newborns to age 18, whose families have financial need. Parents and guardians of these children can apply for the program through the local DHS.
Toy drives are organized by the Clarksville Realty Board of Realtors, and the Dollar General Stores of both Clarksville and Lamar.
Angel ornaments on trees can be picked up at the university’s Mabee Administration Building, as well as Atwood’s, First Security Bank, the Oark Post Office, Great Wide Destination Transport, the Bank of the Ozarks on both Main and Rogers Sts., Regions Bank, Simmons Bank, First Presbyterian Church, Bright Harvest, Trinity Chapel Pentecostal Church of God, Fernwood Assembly of God, Baldor Electric, Tyson’s, First United Methodist Church, Mid-South Roller, the Wal-Mart Distribution Center, the Arvest Banks on both Main and Rogers Sts., Liberty Bank, Lamar City Hall, Clarksville Insurance Agency, Whitson-Morgan, Hanes Brand Inc., Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, Cabin Creek Baptist Church, the Lions Club, Rotary International, and the Wal-Mart Super Center by November 9.
The ornaments include the child’s gender and age, clothing size, favorite color and a suggested toy. The names of the children and families are kept confidential.
A completed Christmas Angels gift box should include one major toy and one complete outfit of clothing (pants and shirts). The average cost to fill a gift box is $35. All gift boxes should be returned to the location where the ornament was picked up by December 1. Monetary gifts are also accepted by UOW to help with unclaimed angels.
Last year, the Christmas Angels Project served 816 children from 324 Johnson County families. The community provided 635 toys and 588 outfits, and the Knights of Columbus and Clarksville Police Dept. provided 19 bikes. Cash donations from a variety of community groups totaled over $7600.
“We facilitate this program, but it is a community effort through the gifts and donations they give,” stressed Committee Co-Chair Monica Frizzell. “Without them, this project could not exist.”
For more information on the Christmas Angels Project, or to make a gift or monetary donation, please contact the University of the Ozarks at 979-1215.