CLEAR FORK VALLEY — The change in seasons is getting folks in the Clear Fork Valley thinking about future holidays.
In about two weeks, people will be able to start giving to others … as part of the annual Secret Santa program run by a local non-profit group.
In this project, local residents go and buy gifts for kids and families who might not have much to anticipate when it comes to Christmas.
The non-profit, Bellville Chiefs Giving Hand Association, is an effort Police Chief Ron Willey supports. Lora Copeland, the police clerk, also contributes, as do volunteers.
Copeland said supporters want people to know they can start their giving efforts Nov. 15. This is the deadline for submitting information about people who might be in need.
Applications are available at the Bellville Police Department.
Giving Trees will be set up at three local banks, as well as the Clear Fork Veterinary Office on Hines Avenue.
Tags will be placed on trees, and people are invited to go in and pick a tag, then contribute the items asked for. Applications must have the child’s name and age, and items asked for. The program is for kids up to age 17, or a senior in school.
No items for adults may be included.
Presents contributed must be new and unwrapped.
Copeland said it is “overwhelming to see” the act of givin, by people in Butler and Bellville. It is good to see families being taken care of, she said.
This non-profit, a 501c3, is a new operation, started in February of this year, Copeland said.
People who are in businesses in Bellville are cooperating with the project.
Information about the Secret Santa is being posted in numerous locations. There are application forms for people to pick up and fill out. The forms have information about rules for the project.
Monetary gifts will be accepted, as will gift wrapping paper and tags.
Any leftover tags suggesting a potential recipient of gifts will be received from the Giving Trees after Dec. 12.
Persons suggesting the names of kids to be helped are asked to say why they see a need. They should include names of parents of the children.
First Knox, Mechanics Bank and U.S. Bank are participating. All forms are available at the Bellville Police Department.
The rummage sale that had been scheduled by All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church for Nov. 9 has been canceled. A rummage sale will be held in the spring at the same time as the area garage sale, usually the second week in June.