Christmas can be less joyous and more challenging when it comes to families in need.
The Osage Nation Financial Assistance Department hosted the annual Tree of Gifts, a program to supply their Osage clients in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program with Christmas presents for their children. The tree held paper ornaments that listed the Christmas wishes of 48 children, ages ranging from one-and-a-half to 17 years. The lists included such things as clothing, hover boards, movies, toys, walking toys for babies, Xboxes and games.
The clients come from Hominy, Fairfax, Pawhuska and Skiatook.
“I am overwhelmed by the number of employees and constituents that have reached out this year and helped by sponsoring the ornaments,” said Cherokee Cheshewalla, case manager for the department. “This is great for the program and for the children that will be receiving the gifts.”
Employees and elected officials have all helped in making Christmas better for the children of Osage County with families in need. One family alone chose to help nine children by taking nine ornaments, which is remarkable and very thoughtful, Cheshewalla said.
She also said an out-of-state Osage tribal member requested an ornament be scanned and sent to them in Texas where they ordered gifts online and had them shipped to the financial assistance office.
The gifts were organized and separated by towns to make it easier for delivery. The financial assistance team will deliver the gifts to the children’s homes on Dec. 21.
The Osage Casino had a toy drive and will supplement where a child lacks in gifts, said Andrea Kemble, financial assistance director.
To learn more about the Tree of Gifts for 2017, please contact Financial Services at (918) 287-5325.