---- — The familiar barrage of holiday advertising blasts us every time we pick up a newspaper, turn on the television or log into a website. The options for Christmas gifts — especially toys — never seem to end.
For many children in the Vermilion County area, however, the idea owning those toys remains out of reach due to their families’ financial situation.
That’s where important programs such as Project Success, the Marine Corps League’s Toys for Tots, The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign, Santas Anonymous and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Vermilion County Angel Tree can make a huge difference in a child’s life.
Project Success reaches out to more than 200 children referred to the program each year. The children must meet certain criteria, including not receiving help from other programs. Then, with the help of many generous area residents, Project Success makes sure each child receives a few necessities — such as warm coats, gloves and hats — along with a special toy.
Toys for Tots collects gifts and then distributes them to families in need. This year, the program is coordinating with the local Salvation Army office to be sure to reach all those who could use a helping hand.
And the Angel Tree at the Village Mall holds tags with information about children who might see a bleak Christmas without a bit of help. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Vermilion County collects the gifts and distributes them.
Santas Anonymous in Westville also collects gifts for children to help families in need.
Other programs continue to do their work as well, all with the help of generous area residents.
“We had such a blessed Christmas when I was was growing up,” said Ricky Williams Jr., Project Success director, “but in these economic times there are a lot of families in need.”
Unfortunately, he’s correct. The rest of us can help. Give — even small donations will help — to help these programs. Every child deserves a merry Christmas.