POM looking for Giving Tree participants, donations for Christmas food bank

More than 144 local kids are in need of holiday gifts this year.

There’s still a few days left for local residents to help their neighbors have a happy holiday season.

Plateau Outreach Ministries’ Giving Tree program will still be accepting gift donations through Monday, Dec. 14.

To participate, you can head to either POM (you’ll have to knock on the door) or Work-Sports & Outdoors to grab “gift tags,” which are essentially an individual’s wish list for the holiday season.

“Each tag, they’re numbered, and it will tell you if they’re part of a family — one kiddo is one tag, but it’ll list what other numbers are the family, so in case you want to do a full family, you can grab all the numbers,” said POM director Elisha Smith-Marshall. “There’s about 144 kiddos out there that have tags.”

Gift donations should be wrapped and dropped back of at POM or Work-Sports & Outdoors with the gift tag by Dec. 14. Program organizers will then collect the gifts and distribute them on Dec. 17.

Smith-Marshall added that people should try to fulfill two or three gifts per gift tag, so that gifts are evenly distributed among those in need.

“Wishes range from arts and craft stuff to bedding [and] bikes,” she continued. “The older kids, of course, want gift cards.”

POM is also looking for donations to help with their Christmas food bank day on Dec. 16.

“Each year, we just try to focus on… Christmas food, but then we always do a little bit extra,” Smith-Marshall said, including new pajamas, new socks, laundry detergent, and other various toiletries. “Our goal is to always to either have a handmade quilt or a knitted blanket” for families, she continued.

Currently, POM is in need of extra pajamas — over size 5 — as well as socks, hand soap, and laundry detergent for the special day.