• EDITOR’S NOTE: The name of the Treasures for Children gift recipient was changed to protect her identity.
Susan Nelson, of Clymer, and her two young children have been beneficiaries of the Treasurers for Children program for several years. She hopes that some day her employment and financial situations will change and she’ll be on the giving end rather than the receiving end of the program.
“I’d love to do that. I’m struggling. If I had the money, I would,” said Nelson, a single mom who works part time at a fast-food restaurant.
Nelson first received Christmas gifts through Treasurers for Children for her son when he was 2 and her daughter when she was 1. The children are now nearly 9 and 8.
“It’s very helpful. It lets them wake up to a little more” on Christmas morning, Nelson said of the program that matches children in families experiencing financial difficulties with people who are able and willing to make Christmas a little brighter for others.
In the past, Nelson’s kids have received toys, clothing, books, video game tapes, pencils, socks and underwear as gifts. This season they’ve again listed clothes and toys as gift suggestions.
The program, she said, has taken some of the pressure off her and treated her children while she is “trying to pay all the bills so they have a roof over their heads.”
The Treasures for Children program is administered by The Salvation Army in conjunction with The Indiana Gazette.
Treasures for Children Christmas trees, decorated with children’s wish list tags, are on display at more than 40 locations around the county. Individuals who want to help simply select a child’s list from a tree, buy a gift or gifts for that child and drop them off, unwrapped, at any tree location or The Salvation Army headquarters, 635 Water St., Indiana.
The donated gifts must be delivered to any participating location by Dec. 7. The buyer should ensure the child’s “treasure tag” is taped securely to the unwrapped gift.
Some of the tags on trees are for senior citizens and physically or mentally challenged residents.
Monetary contributions are also welcome. Checks may be made payable to “The Salvation Army Treasurers for Children Program” and mailed to The Salvation Army, 635 Water St., Indiana, PA 15701.
The Salvation Army’s similar Adopt-a-Family Program is also under way. In that program, groups of donors — employees, family members, church parishioners — work together to buy Christmas presents for an entire family.
More information is available by calling The Salvation Army at (724) 465-2530 or The Indiana Gazette at (724) 465-5555.