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Tree sprouts in nick of time

McCann's makes merry Christmas for many middle-schoolers


by: BARBARA SHERMAN - WISHES COME TRUE - Lu Ann Trotebas, McCann's gift buyer/manager, stands by the giving tree full of gift certificate requests from Twality Middle School students.McCann's Pharmacy & Gifts in King City caters to seniors as well as people of all ages, and for the 2102 holiday season, employees went out of their way to insure that some Twality Middle School students had a merry Christmas by setting up a Wishing & Caring Tree.

"This year at McCann's we wanted to do something special to help the children of the Tigard-Tualatin areas," said Cece Harris, the Hallmark manager. "I had just read the story in the Regal Courier about the King City Women's Golf Club raising money for the Tigard Backpack Program in the Tigard-Tualatin School District. I was thinking about the kids and suddenly thought about the low-income middle-school-age kids who probably get dropped through the cracks during Christmas.

"They're too old to want a toy from the yearly children's toy drives and so probably end up receiving no gifts for Christmas Day. I brought the idea back to Jim, our general manager at McCann's, and he said, 'Go for it, Cece.' I first contacted Charlie Sandbo, the Tigard Backpack Program volunteer coordinator, who thought it was a fantastic idea to help these kids."

An email was sent to Catherine West, director of the Tigard-Tualatin Family Resource Center, who coordinates gift-giving programs in the district and sent out emails to the three middle schools.

Harris received a reply from Brittany Volk, counselor at Twality Middle School, who had a list of more than 100 children who "definitely got dropped through the cracks during Christmas," Harris said.

Thus the Twality Middle School's Wishing & Caring Tree was born.

"It very difficult to buy a gift for a child at this age," Harris said. "So I decided to make a gift card tree to a store of their choice. We are so excited at McCann's to be able to help bring Christmas into the lives of these children who otherwise would have none, and we truly want to thank the folks who selected a tag from our tree to make a Christmas wish come true."

Because all the requests were simply gift certificates, that made it easy for McCann's customers to fulfill requests.

A lot of tags still remained on the tree in early December, but Harris was hopeful that local residents would rally around the cause and help out the kids.