Aid Programs Can Help Save Christmas | Marion County File

Aid programs can help save Christmas

Personal editor

As if 2020 hadn’t already been a difficult year for 12-year-old Emma, ​​due to the death of her mother, Christmas would have been difficult without the help of a program that gives Christmas presents to children who, otherwise, would have almost nothing to open on Christmas morning.

The program also provides families with the attributes of a holiday treat.

“I was satisfied with it; we have a lot of stuff, ”said the Marion County grandmother who now cares for Emma (not her real name). “She was really happy with that.”

Emma’s Christmas was a happy one last year. She was especially happy with a hat and glove set in her favorite color.

“Her mother passed away in July, so last year was a pretty tough year, and we didn’t have the money to buy her things and eat,” her grandmother said. “I was shocked with everything we got. We have two big boxes and a few bags of food. I was so grateful. We had a very good Christmas.

When Emma’s grandmother wondered how she was going to take care of Christmas, Emma’s social worker in Prairie View told her about the program.

One of the program coordinators knew Emma and asked her grandmother how the girl was doing after her mother died.

“I decided to try to register and see if we were qualified to get it,” said the grandmother.

Emma receives Social Security survivor benefits, but that money doesn’t go far.

She plans to see if the family qualifies this year.

“If you really, really need help sign up for the program because it’s so worth it,” said the grandmother.

The application deadlines for Christmas aid programs in the county are approaching.


Applications for Marion’s Community Christmas program are sent to schools, the health department, Safe Hope and the food bank. Applications are also available at the town hall.

The program serves families in the Marion-Florence and Center school districts by providing them with gifts and boxes of food.

Applications must be submitted on November 19 at Town Hall. Proof of income is required.


The Goessel Christmas tree, coordinated by the ministerial alliance, is at the service of the children of the Goessel region. Applications can be picked up at Goessel Elementary and Secondary School offices, the city office, Crossroads Credit Union, and Citizens State Bank.

Applications are due November 12 and can be made to any Crossroads school or credit union.

Donors can select a tag from a tree at the credit union.


Hillsboro has two vacation assistance programs, one for families and one for children.

The Giving Tree program for families is coordinated by Hillsboro State Bank.

A tree with tags will be placed in the lobby of the bank and donors will choose tags to purchase gifts. Gifts are offered to families in difficulty.

Applications are due by November 30. Proof of income is required.

Emprise Bank sponsors a Silver Angel Tree program for people aged 55 and over in Marion County. Applications must be submitted by November 19 and can be submitted by the Elder or someone else on behalf of the Elder. No proof of income is required.


Peabody Churches sponsor an informal Christmas program. Families seeking help can speak to any minister in Peabody.

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