Each year, hundreds of Wise County residents need a little help making their children’s Christmas wishes come true.
If that describes you, now is the time to apply for help through the local Spirit of Christmas campaigns.
Based on recent history, the need this year will be great. Several campaigns last year reported a record number of applications.
Decatur’s Spirit of Christmas has changed a bit this year. Applications may be picked up at the Decatur Public Library, 1700 Farm Road 51 South, for the first time. Those applications have been available since Oct. 25, and the deadline to return one is next Thursday, Nov. 7.
Erica Eison, branch manager at DATCU in Decatur, said the library was chosen because it offers extended hours in the evenings and on weekends, making it more convenient for clients. Having all the applications available at one location should also help. Previously, applications could be picked up at financial institutions around town.
“We hope to keep it more streamlined,” Eison said.
Anyone seeking more information can still call any financial institution in the city.
Eison said the number of applications being picked up is running about normal up to this point. She said the numbers typically pick up closer to the deadline.
The Decatur Spirit of Christmas program will be using the voucher system again this year after it debuted last year.
“Our clients gave us tremendous feedback,” Eison said.
Once the angel trees are available in a few weeks, anyone can donate any amount at any financial institution, Eison said.
Bridgeport’s Spirit of Christmas applications will be available Monday, Nov. 4, at the Bridgeport Public Library, 2159 10th Street. The deadline to return applications to the library is noon Wednesday, Nov. 13. Applications returned after the deadline will not be accepted.
The Bridgeport Women’s Club has adopted the program as one of its primary charities and will run this year’s program. Numerous fundraisers have already been held, and the club hopes to help at least 150 children this year.
Bridgeport Spirit of Christmas also uses the voucher system.
Applications for the South Wise Spirit of Christmas became available Friday, Nov. 1, at Rhome City Hall, 105 W. First St. Those applications are due Nov. 13. The program provides toys and some necessities to children in need in Rhome, Aurora, New Fairview and others in the 76078 ZIP code.
Boyd Spirit of Christmas applications are available at Boyd Elementary and Intermediate schools and Boyd City Hall. Applications must be returned by Monday, Nov. 18, to qualify.
Boyd will be using the voucher system for the first time this year. Families accepted for assistance will receive a gift voucher that can be redeemed only at the Haslet Wal-Mart. A family may not qualify for assistance for more than three consecutive years.
The deadline to return applications for the Alvord Spirit of Christmas program was Friday, Nov. 1.
Paradise will not have a Spirit of Christmas program this year.
A representative with the Chico Spirit of Christmas could not be reached by press deadline.
A representative with the Newark Spirit of Christmas could not be reached by press deadline.