Residents ensure that Washington County foster kids have a fun Christmas

by: BARBARA SHERMAN - KATHY AND FRIENDS - Kathy Peper (second from right), who organized the Summerfield giving tree for Washington County foster children again this year, stands with all of the donated gifts and some of the friends who helped her with the project - Dee Melgreen (left), Yvonne Welch and Betty Benson.Summerfield residents took 100 percent of the 85 tags provided by the Washington County foster care program from the giving tree in the Clubhouse lobby in December, according to organizer Kathy Peper.

The variety of gifts this year included tricycles, gift cards and even a potty chair.

Several residents dropped off coats, shoes and toys without tags, and Bull Mountain Dental Images conducted a "Cram the Van" fundraiser. As a result, the office donated four large gift bags without tags.

The foster care organization had stated earlier that it was in desperate need of pajamas for the children, so Rubbish Works provided pajamas.

Home Street Bank asked for an additional 30 gift tags to have on hand for a community business meeting at the bank; and Peper said that the additional gifts beyond those requested are stored to hand out during the year as kids need items or are transferred to a new home.

"It has been fun picking up all the gifts," Peper said. "Thank you all for your generosity - you have made a difference in the lives of these children. They have so little, and some arrive without shoes or a change of clothing. In providing gifts you have shown your support and have proven how much you care."

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