Christmas time is a difficult time of year for families in need. They have to worry about their children’s Christmas and if they will have enough money to buy gifts. The Osage Nation TANF department wanted to ease some of that worry for their clients by setting up the Tree of Gifts.
“We believe the Tree of Gifts is very important this time of year. We want our clients to know that we care about their needs, happiness and success all year around, especially during the holiday season,” said Jodie Revard, director of Financial Assistance.
The tree had the children’s ages and wishes written on paper bulbs for 62 children. Osage Nation employees were encouraged to pick up a bulb and donate gifts for the children to ensure they had gifts on Christmas morning.
TANF had 40 individual sponsors as well as 19 Osage Nation departments participate to make the Tree of Gifts a success. Some individuals sponsored multiple children. Donations of wrapping supplies and 23 individuals volunteered their time to help wrap gifts. It was the second year for the Tree of Gifts.
“So many parents appreciated the gifts, it was a heartwarming experience,” said Andrea Kemble, project specialist for financial assistance.
Gifts came pouring in to the office ranging from clothes, dolls, toy trucks and cars to more extravagant gifts, such as tablets, bicycles, and video games.
The gifts were organized and separated by towns to make it easier for delivery. The Financial Assistance team delivered the gifts to the children’s homes.
“Our people are generous and are natural philanthropists, we enjoy helping our children in the community through donations and fundraising,” Revard said.
To learn more about the TANF Tree of Gifts for 2016 please contact Financial Services at (918) 287-5325.