By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
A time for giving
Annual Christmas program fills a void
new deh light child photo
Farmers Bank and Trust staff members Consuelo Chavez and Charell Owings sort items for the 23th-annual Light Up a Childs Life Christmas program. Donations are still being accepted until Dec. 12. - photo by DIANE LACY-TROSTLE Great Bend Tribune

 Each year, kids make out their Christmas wish lists, hoping they will find the beneath their sparkling tree on Christmas morning. Sadly, for those in needy families, those wishes go unfulfilled.

That’s why for 23 years now, Farmers Bank & Trust has sponsored its annual Light Up a Child’s Life Christmas program. The cause is getting cranked up for this year, said the bank’s Maryln Schumacher, who organizes the effort.

Although initiated by Farmers, Schumacher said this is a community-wide endeavor. “We want to thank the community for making the opportunity to help children possible,” Schumacher said. “Our work allows a child that may not have received a gift, to understand the joy at Christmas.” 

Here’s how it works. There will be “giving trees” at both of the Farmers Bank & Trust locations, 1612 Main 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.

She said the basic process has remained the same over the years. The wrapped gifts or donations need to be turned in by Dec. 12 to allow time for items to be purchased, wrapped and/or distributed.

Single children and families will be available for adoption with choices of two, three or more children per family, she said. In all, about 350 children are served.

“So many kids in our community will receive clothes, toys and necessities for Christmas because of the generosity of the community,” Schumacher said. “Getting these gifts to use in the New Year is a wish come true for these underprivileged children.

“This continues to grow with need,” Schumacher said. “It also continues to be rewarding for those who help make it a success. “There’s something special about helping someone else’s Christmas special.”

Schumacher added the gift program has “built momentum throughout the years of existence and has become a tradition for many groups and individuals to give back to our community.”

 For more information, call Farmers Bank locations 792-2411 or 792-1431.