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Angel Tree at Pawnee Valley Campus shares the Christmas spirit
Lori Milch, left, and Julie Bugner-Smith decorate the Angel Tree in the lobby of The University of Kansas Health System Pawnee Valley Campus. Milch is the health record analyst at the hospital and Bugner-Smith is director of the Pawnee Valley Community Hospital Foundation.

LARNED — Those seeking a way to share the Christmas spirit throughout the community may now support the local Angel Tree project that provides clothing for children who need a helping hand.

The decorated Angel Tree is located in the lobby at The University of Kansas Health System Pawnee Valley Campus, 923 Carroll, Larned.

The angelic ornaments represent individual children. Names are not used; coded numbers identify the youngsters. Ages, clothing sizes and favorite colors are indicated.

“We encourage folks to select an angel as soon as they can,” said Lori Milch, Angel Tree project coordinator and health record analyst. “However, because of the many COVID-19 precautions here at the hospital, we want to limit the amount of traffic in the lobby.”

Those who prefer not to visit the hospital in person are welcome to call Milch to request an angel. Her phone numbers are 620-285-8857 and 620-923-5643.

Unwrapped gifts should be delivered to the hospital by Monday, Dec. 6. Even though they are not wrapped, it is helpful if they are boxed.

“This annual project could not have been so successful over the years without the tremendous support from other groups and individuals,” Milch noted. “For example, the hospital’s Auxiliary helps with clothing donations, while collecting boxes and wrapping paper. They also help wrap the packages.”

This type of teamwork extends far beyond Pawnee Valley Campus. Fort Larned Lions Club gathers the names of families who need help and provides information about ages and sizes. They also donate food baskets to the families. Lions members deliver the food and clothing too.

Included in the deliveries are toys that Larned High School gathers after learning about ages and wish lists. This information is placed on the school’s Toy Tree.

“Our hospital has offered the Angel Tree for many years thanks to my coworkers and this widespread community support,” Milch commented. “Pawnee Valley employees love to get involved with this and other local projects.

“We are sincerely grateful to the Auxiliary, Lions Club, high school and everyone else who has helped with their time, money and talent. They are making the Christmas season a little brighter for local and area families.”