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Time to light up again

It’s been 20 years of helping local kids at Christmas

POSTED December 2, 2011 2:12 p.m.
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Chuck Smith/

Farmers Bank and Trust staff members sort items...

It’s difficult for the organizers to believe it, but it’s been 20 years since a local Christmas giving program was initiated.
This will be the 20th year for the Light Up a Child’s Life program, through which thousands of local kids have been helped because of the generosity of the community, according to organizer Karesa Harrison.
The annual Light Up a Child’s Life Christmas program, facilitated through Farmers Bank & Trust, started modestly and quickly grew into a major local effort, Harrison recalled.
“This is the 20th year that the bank has organized this program to give Christmas to families in need and make Christmas brighter for children right here in our local area,” she recalled. “The Light Up a Child’s Life Christmas program started with the names of a few less fortunate families and children 20 years ago and has become a tradition for many families that adopt children.”
It grew from a few people helping to an effort that has involved a large part of the community over the years, she added. “The community has pulled together to help thousands of children over the 20-year-span,” Harrison commented.
She said it’s been a great program to help with over the years. “What a wonderful program that demonstrates the generosity of the residents, organizations and businesses of Great Bend and Barton County.”
Harrison said she wants to thank all the volunteers who, over the years, have shown up to wrap and deliver the donations, too. She said throughout much of the time, the local Pilot Club has been especially active in that effort.
Over the 20 years the organizers have seen all sorts of developments in what the kids are wanting for presents, which has proven interesting, but they have also seen the disturbing development that the children are open about a growing need for clothing and necessities for their families.
She said the basic process has remained the same over the years. “To adopt a child or make a donation, please stop by either Farmers Bank and Trust location before Dec. 12.”
There will be “giving trees” at both of the Farmers Bank & Trust locations, downtown and at 10th and Harrison, with information on them about the various children enrolled in the program this year. Participants can either donate funds, so the bank staff can shop for the children, or they can choose a child from the tree and purchase items themselves.
For more information, call Farmers, 792-2411, or stop by either location.


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