Angel Tree Program needs more help to make Christmas merry

BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) – The United Way of IndependenceCounty needs a few more elves this year to provide gifts for children in need.

This year, the United Way plans to help about 500 localchildren through the Angel Tree Program.

Most of the banks and several businesses in Batesville haveset up trees displaying wish lists for the kids, who have all been nominatedfor this service through the Arkansas Department of Human Services.

Deanna Green, the United Way's new executive director, sayswhat she needs now are more people willing to sponsor a child.

"We have almost 500 children on the list, and I would saythat there are probably about half of those may still be out to be taken,"Green said. "There's a huge need for our community."

Green said ifpeople do not want to buy gifts for a child, then they should at least givesome money to the cause.

"Even if all the names weren't taken, we have so many peoplewho just write us a check for the Angel Tree Program," Green said. "We use thatmoney at the end to shop for any names that are not distributed, and thathappens. We will be shopping for names probably, but we have money to do thatwith. Monetary donations are accepted. We appreciate those. Not everyone's a shopper,but I have tons of volunteer elves waiting to shop."

The United Way would like to have all the gifts bought byDecember 13 so that everything is ready the following week for the giveaway.

To learn where todrop off gifts or how else to get involved, just visit the United Way ofIndependence County's Facebook page here.

For any other questions, people can call Deanna Greendirectly at 870-307-1406.

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