Second chances for families needing Christmas gifts
Cutline: Mike Cordova and Nancy Blanchard work on packing one of the 650 bags of food to be given away over the holidays at Orange Christian Services. In addition to food, OCS is giving families a second chance to get toys for children who have missed the application deadlines at area organizations.
By Debby Schamber
For the Record
Hope is not lost for those who for whatever reason missed the application dates at area organizations, such as Salvation Army, Blue Santa, the OCS Adopt a Family Program or the Bridge City/Orangefield Ministerial Alliance who distribute toys to underserved children.
Orange Christian Services is preparing to meet those needs. Toy Donations need to be delivered to OCS no later than 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dec. 14th located at 2518 W. Park Avenue in Orange. Each toy needs to be unwrapped.
“Our toy program depends on the donations of new toys,” said Judy Jensen, OCS executive director.
Before the toys are distributed, parents are interviewed for information on their children to ensure needs are met. During the process, they collect information such as name, age, sex, ethnicity, and any special needs.
Although they would prefer to help many people, their resources are limited and the program is a first come, first serve. In addition, they will be thoroughly checking their lists and comparing with other organizations to make sure the applicant did not receive services from another organization.
OCS will begin giving the toys to the parents on Dec. 17th, Dec. 18th and Dec. 19th. Remaining toys will be distributed on Dec. 20th. Jensen and her staff try and give each child three new toys.
The citizens of Orange County are “good” people,” Jensen said of the many donations received.
“We have been truly blessed beyond measure, Jensen said. “We are grateful for all the help.”
In addition to the OCS Toy Program, they are also preparing to give away food. They have already packed 650 bags of non-perishable food items to make a holiday meal. But, the gift of giving continues as each bag will come with a turkey, ham or chicken.
All of the rushing around and hectic schedules in the end are all worth it for the staff of OCS. The lit Christmas tree with the beautiful, glistening decorations stands in the foyer. Each staff member scurries past it as they work to help the clients.
“We do it with joy,” Jensen said.
Jensen adds, on behalf of the Orange Christian Services staff and volunteers, we wish you a very blessed Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.