Upsilon Zeta-Sisters By Choice, a civic and social organization, along with OACAC, is once again trying to spread the true spirit of Christmas to local children by organizing the 33rd Annual Kids of Christmas Campaign.
This program is designed as a "helping hand-up," according to organizers. The children included are impacted by their parents' current financial and life situations. OACAC and Upsilon Zeta help different "kids" each year as their financial picture changes. Through this project, organizers hope to provide each child with a new set of clothes, a pair of shoes and their toy of choice. Each child is also provided with a book, to foster the love of reading, and a stocking stuffer or two.
Upsilon Zeta members organized this yearly campaign along with the OACAC staff, which verifies the eligibility of the families and compiles the children's wish list.
"The continued success of this program belongs to all the generous people in our community who truly care about their neighbors," said Janine Konstanzer, co-chairman of Kids of Christmas. The Chariots of Grace Motorcycle club held a toy run November 3 and donated over $125 in toys. "To our surprise, that donation was matched by an anonymous donor. The Queen Ester chapter #202 of the Order of the Eastern Star in Verona has also donated $180.33 to start off this years campaign. Many, many thanks to these ladies and gentlemen for thinking of our program to support each year!
"Without the continued support of OACAC, the Aurora Advertiser, Community National Bank, First Independent Bank, Great Southern bank and WalMart, we would not have a successful program," she continued. "These businesses make the kids' wish list ornaments available to the public and donate gifts to these kids every year, and we really appreciate their continued support."
Thanks to generous support from the community, last year the organization was able to help 97 kids from 48 different families in Aurora, Marionville and Verona."
Anyone who wishes to help local children in need can pick up one or more Christmas wish ornaments at Community National Bank, First Independent Bank, Great Southern Bank and Walmart. Donations may be left at these locations as well until December 17 -- no need to wrap the gifts. Monetary donations may be dropped off at Community National Bank or mailed to: Kids of Christmas 18256 Lawrence 1170 Aurora, MO 65605. People can also donate through PayPal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Persons or groups who would like to provide the entire wish list for a child, or multiple children are invited to call Janine Konstanzer at 678-4397 or Angie Boettler 440-0337.
Donations will be collected through December 17. The first group of families and kids are listed below.
Family 1 -- Anna is nine years old. Her mother is going to school part time, and Dad works full time. She would love to have a Clue board game and an art set. She needs jeans size 12, a size 12 shirt, a coat size 12 and shoes size 6. Her brother Braden is five and needs a shirt size medium (8-10), jeans size 9 and shoes size 2. He would like some Batman action figure or trucks and a art set book. They both need hats and gloves. Baby Andy needs newborn clothes and a warm blanket.
Family 2 -- Cameron is 10 years old. He would like a basketball and a football. He needs jeans size 14, shirt size 14 and size 8 shoes. His little brother Canin, age five, needs shirt and pants size 5 and size 12 shoes. He would like some cars and trucks or some Legos or any Paw Patrol toy. Their sister is eight and would like a princess dress up set or Barbie doll. She needs shoes size 4, jeans and top size 10. They also need coats, hats, gloves and pajamas for all the kids. This single working dad receives no outside help.
Family 3 -- Doran is nine years old and would like dinosaur toys or Jurassic World Legos. He greatly needs clothes and a coat size 10 and shoes size 6. His sister Gaylen is four, and she would like a Elsa Frozen doll or Peppa Pig stuffed animal. She needs clothes and a coat size 6 and shoes size 13. This family just moved here and could use a little help getting back on their feet.
Family 4 -- Hunter is nine years old and would love a baseball glove or a bat and ball. He needs size 8 shoes and clothes size 14. He needs winter coveralls or a coat and hat. His sister Isabelle is eight and would like any Hatchimals and a stuffed unicorn. She needs shoes size 1 and clothes size 9. She also needs a size 9 coat and snow pants. Their sister Jaysa is five. She needs clothes size 6x and size 11 shoes. She would like a Barbie or some Legos. Two month old Vivian needs warm clothes and a blanket. This is a two-parent working family, but the mother is still on maternity leave and could use some help this Christmas.
Family 5 -- Jackson is 10 years old and needs clothes and a coat size 10, shoes size 7. He would like a Batman action toy or basketball. Julie, age nine, needs shoes size 6 and clothes size 10, including a coat. She would like a craft kit or drawing supplies. Her sister Karla is six and she would like any Shopkins toy. She needs clothes size 7 and shoes size 1. All of the kids need hats, gloves and coats. A two-parent home, Dad is working part time since his hours were cut in October and Mom has some health problems right now.
Family 6 -- Heather is eight years old and would like a Frozen doll or a Scrabble board game. She needs clothes and a coat size 10 and shoes size 4. Brother Lonnie is four years old and would like any Paw Patrol toys or Transformers toy. He needs size 5 clothes and a coat, as well as size 8 shoes. Their sister Leann is two and needs clothes size 2T, coat size 2 and shoes size 8. She would like a stuffed doll. The dad just got custody of these kids and is trying to work full time; money is just very tight this Christmas.
Family 7 -- Violet is eight years old and would really like to have an art set. She needs shoes size 5 and clothes size 12. Her sister Amanda is five years old. She would like a Barbie or a Shopkins toy. She needs clothes size 6 and shoes size 3. Their little sister is two and she would like some VeggieTales movies and a coloring book. She needs shoes size 7 and clothes size 3T. All of the girls need coats, hats and gloves. Mom just got out of an abusive marriage and going through a divorce.
Family 8 -- Is a single father who recently lost his job. His sons Drew and Devin, ages nine and seven, would like some dinosaur and transformer toys. They love Lincoln Logs and board games. They need clothes size 14 and 9, shoes size 8 and 4.
Family 9 -- Chris is nine and would like to have a art set and some Legos. He needs clothes size 12 and shoes size 5. His brother Justin, age four, would like to have some Batman Legos or a Paw Patrol truck. He needs size 4T clothes and size 6 shoes. This single mother is on disability due to a car wreck.
Family 10 -- Nicki, age 10, would like to have a jewelry making kit. She needs size 14/16 clothes and a coat. She also needs size 6 shoes. Her brother Mark, age seven, would like a Lego set and some Pokemon toys. He needs clothes and a coat size 7 and shoes size 1. Both parents are working, but hours have been cut back for winter.
Family 11 -- Renee, age three, wants Santa to bring her a musical toy. She needs clothes and a coat in a size 3 and shoes size 8. Angie, age 18 months, could use a learning toy and needs clothes size 2 and size 5 shoes. Both of the kids need hats and gloves. A two-parent family, Dad just lost his job and Mom just started new job. Any assistance is greatly appreciated.
Family 12 -- Tyler, age eight, would like a journal and a Batman toy. He needs size 10 clothes and a coat. He needs size 2 shoes. His brother Justin, age six, would like a football or play guitar. He needs clothes size 6 and size 13 shoes. Both boys needs hats and gloves. A single father is raising these boys.
Family 13 -- Lance, age seven, would like a craft kit and a Paw Patrol toy. He needs clothes and a coat size 8 and size 3 shoes. His three-year-old brother, Kyle, would like some Duplos or some Paw Patrol cars. He needs clothes and a coat size 4 and shoe size 8. Their almost-two-year-old brother, David, would like some Duplos or a stuffed Paw Patrol toy. He needs shoes size 10. Mom is a stay home mom and Dad is recovering from surgery and off work right now.
Family 14 -- Taylor, age 10, would really like a craft or jewelry making kit. She could use clothes and a coat size 10 and size 1 shoes. Her sister, Breanna, age eight, would like a play piano and a board game. She needs clothes size 10 and a size 13 shoe. Their brother Robbie, age three, would like some Paw Patrol toys or a dinosaur, along with shoes size 8 and size 3T clothes. The grandmother is raising these kids.
Family 15 -- Consists of three boys. Joe is nine years old and would like any Batman toy or a Monopoly board game. He needs clothes and a coat size 6 and shoes size 2. Jacob is four and would like a camo blanket or soccer ball. He needs clothes size 4 and shoes size 11. Josh is two and would love to have a Tonka dump truck and a Paw Patrol blanket. He need clothes size 2T and shoes size 6. Josh is mentally challenged, and Mom stays at home to work with his development. Dad works, but they have a lot of medical bills.