Two programs that have helped collect toys for Oregon County children for many years have joined together and become one program.
Many people in the area have donated to the Mitten Tree or the Ozark Action Angel Tree. According to Diana Clary, these two programs have combined and are now going by the Mitten Tree name.
"Those that are not familiar with the program, this is how it works. There will be a Christmas Tree (a real tree or a tree made of green poster board) located at Wallace and Owens Grocery Stores in Alton and Thayer. There will be a tree at the Bank of Thayer, Thayer Wal-Mart and the Dollar General Store at Alton," Clary said.
Displayed on the trees will be paper mittens identifying the needs of a child in the county. "Take the mittens off the tree and go shop for the gifts listed," she said. Wrap the gifts and put them in a gift bag with the mittens attached. "We need the mittens attached to the bag so we can get the reference number on the back of the mitten," Clary said. The gifts with the mittens need to be returned to the Wallace and Owens stores at Alton and Thayer by Dec. 14. The gifts will be distributed to families Dec. 18.
"We are expecting to help 225 children in the Oregon County area this year. In order for this to be possible we rely on the support of the community and on the sale of pecans. The pecans are the mammoth halves and sell for $7.50 for a one pound bag. The proceeds from the pecan sales are used to help purchase gifts for children on the Mitten Tree," she said.
The pecans are currently on sale at Simmons True Value in Alton, Youngs Produce in Alton or by contacting Clary at 417-778-6639.
"Our Mitten Tree and Angel Tree programs have been running for several years due to the support of caring citizens. Each year we are reminded how blessed we are to live in such a generous community. We truly appreciate everyone's help with this project," she said.