Sharp County DHS administrator Virginia Schmidt said the department has, so far, accepted applications from 110 families, including 183 children who need assistance with Christmas gifts.
Last year, over 600 families were served through the project. Angel Tree cannot be a reality without the help of the community, businesses and civic organizations. Schmidt anticipates the need to be even larger this year.
Those needing assistance with gifts can pick up applications at the Sharp County DHS office in Highland. Applicants are requested to fill out the form, including name and phone number, so the gifts may be picked up when they are ready. Each application provides location of he form for a child's age, sizes, as well as gift wishes.
Applications must be turned in by Dec. 1. Schmidt stressed although applications are taken, assistance is not guaranteed. Through community efforts, the Department makes a every effort to provide for all the families.
Local businesses and individuals may pick up names at the DHS office and sponsor a family, or take a group of names and post them on a tree or other areas in their businesses.
If a sponsor cannot purchase gifts for an entire family, they are welcome to purchase individual gifts and drop them off as well.
Those who sponsor a family are asked to staple the original sheet obtained from DHS to the bags of gifts so the department can insure the orders are filled. Individual gifts will be used as supplements.
After purchasing the gifts, donors may to drop off the selections with the sheet attached to the closest city hall, in Cave City, Ash Flat, Highland, Hardy and Cherokee Village, as well as the DHS office in Highland. The gifts need not be wrapped as many families unwrap the gifts to ensure there is no duplication of gifts that children might receive from other family members.
The deadline for submitting gifts is Dec. 15. The department will contact families for pickup on Dec. 16 at the Highland First Assembly of God Church, between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Gifts for families in the Cave City area may be picked up at the Cave City Hall, after families receive a phone call their gifts are ready.
Anyone interested in volunteering to help needy families in Sharp County have a Merry Christmas by either providing gifts or assisting with sorting and distribution of the gifts, are welcome to arrive at the church on pickup day.