There are plenty of opportunities close to home for residents to express their generosity this holiday season. And they will be in good company, as many of their neighbors are likely to donate to those less fortunate as they have in years past.
The “Share a Stocking” program at North Big Horn Hospital is an opportunity for those wishing to make a child’s Christmas wish come true.
A special tree located at the hospital is decked with paper stockings. Each stocking indicates the age and specific wish of a child written on it. Those wanting to participate select a stocking and purchase the gift named on the stocking for the child. The gifts are delivered on Christmas Day to children in need in the community.
“We usually serve about 200 children in the area, including Lovell, Byron, Cowley, Frannie and Deaver. The children’s ages are from birth to 18 years old. There are two gifts for each child – clothing and a toy,” said Janet Koritnik on behalf of the hospital. “There are still about 150 stockings left on the tree.”
The stockings can be picked up any time. Participants should return the wrapped gifts by Friday, Dec. 16.
For more than 20 years, local firemen have collected donations of food that is placed in baskets and given to families in need in the community. The firemen supplement what has been donated with purchases of fresh items like hams, eggs, potatoes and other items using money they have collected at fundraisers throughout the year. They then personally deliver the baskets to more than 180 families in the Lovell, Byron, Cowley, Deaver and Frannie areas. Non-perishable food and monetary donations can be dropped off at the fir
e hall by Dec. 16. Local firemen will personally deliver the baskets on Dec. 19.
The “Tree of Love” is proudly displayed in the hospital auxiliary store at the New Horizon’s Care Center. Visitors are invited to purchase a paper ornament in memory of a special person in their lives. Proceeds from the event support the group’s volunteer efforts. Ornaments can be purchased at the store, which is located in the Care Center.
It may seem like pennies from heaven for the Winterholler family this year. Principal Cheri Hoffman at the Lovell Elementary School was moved by the plight of this family during the holiday season and initiated a coin collection campaign for the family. A special jar is located near the school office for individuals who wish to unload their loose coins or dollars to help make the holiday season shine a little bit brighter for this family.
The family narrowly missed a horrible tragedy when Katey Winterholler rolled her pickup on an icy highway south of Lovell on Nov. 15. Winterholler was nine months pregnant at the time and was life-flighted to Billings. Her baby was born healthy that day. Immediately afterward she underwent emergency back and neck surgery. The family does not have health insurance.
There is also a Zumba fundraising fitness party and silent auction on Saturday from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Lovell Elementary School to raise funds to help the family.
TCT and the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots program have joined together to provide a brighter Christmas for the children of the community. TCT is offering $5 off their bill to customers who drop a new, unwrapped toy at the TCT office by Dec. 15.
By Patti Carpenter