In the weeks leading up to the Christmas holiday, the North Big Horn Hospital District is once again sponsoring an opportunity to participate in the joy of Christmas giving by donating items to local families in need. NBHH has been sponsoring the Share-a-Stocking program, which was started by former nurse and Hospital Board of Trustees member Ruthann Holzer, in conjunction with the local schools and other agencies for around15 years.
Koritnik said the names of families in need were submitted in November. Community members were then offered the opportunity to select stockings inscribed with a gift wish list and to purchase and wrap the gifts for children in need. The wrapped gifts and then turned in to the hospital, which distributes the gifts at Christmastime. Koritnik said there is still time to become a donor.
“The gifts are due back to the hospital by Dec. 18 or before so that we can group the gifts for each family together,” said Koritnik. “Stockings are on the tree in the hospital lobby. There is a sign-up sheet there also.”
Koritnik said the program provides gifts to about 200 local children from Frannie, Deaver, Byron, Cowley and Lovell. The gifts are given anonymously to children ages 0 to 18 and donors are asked not to spend more than $30 on the gifts.
“We have coordinated this program for more than 15 years,” explained Koritnik. “Many local groups help with the program, such as the North Big Horn Senior Citizens Center, which makes quilts for the children each year, the ABATE motorcycle group, which donates toys from their annual toy run. We also coordinate with the Toys for Tots program.”
She added that a number of local businesses and groups have sponsored a family each year. Businesses, groups or individuals that still want to sponsor a family or an individual stocking may contact Koritnik at 548-5240.
By Patti Carpenter