Lions Club helps to make the season merry and bright

Angel Tree and Gift Baskets for Christmas

One thing about the people in Platte County is their generosity, their willingness to bless others and their power to organize the blessing through local organizations is exemplary.

The Lions Club of Wheatland is once again this year playing the part of Santa’s elves and distributing  gifts for those who were signed up for Angel Tree and in need of Christmas food baskets.

Since Christmas falls on a Sunday this year, everyone is under the gun as far as timing goes and everything this year is happening a week early. Deadlines have been moved up and Christmas really is coming quickly and will be here before you know it.

The 2022 Christmas Food Baskets this year need to be dropped off to the Platte County Chamber of Commerce (located at 65 16th Street in Wheatland) by Dec. 14. The Christmas Food Basket Sign-up is running right now and goes through Dec. 7 at the Department of Family Services located at 1556 Progress Court in Wheatland.

The items needed for each basket are one can of yams, ham glaze or honey, two boxes of scalloped or cheesy potatoes, two cans of green beans, one can of olives, two cans of fruit, one can of pineapple, 5 pounds of sugar, 5 pounds of flour, one cookie mix or package of cookies, one package of dinner roll mix, one box of hot chocolate mix and candy.

Angel Tree is also running this month… under an early deadline. The Angel Tree is at drubeHOME and signup children through age 13 until Dec. 7.

Pick your angel ticket up at drubeHOME from the tree. The tree will be available until Dec. 10. Angel Tree donations may be dropped off at drubeHOME at 874 Gilchrist by Dec. 14.

The Lions Club is working feverishly and selflessly to get the word out and are hoping that people will be able to make the deadlines even though they are a week early this year.

This group has taken on the project for the past nine years. Before that former PC Record Times worker Ken Barnes was heading up the project and the Lions got behind it.

“It’s been going on for years and years and years,” said Ken Pasley, Lions Club member. “It’s the Christmas basket and the Angel Tree. The Lions here and the Lions in Guernsey both do it.”

Between the Angel Tree and the food baskets, Pasley estimated that it costs between 25 and $30 thousand each year.

“Donations come from individuals and businesses,” Pasley said. “It’s just amazing. We have so much support in this town, I just can’t say enough about it.”

The spirit of giving is alive and well here in Platte County. It’s a wonderous thing to see the families come and pick up the gifts each year. This year, there seems to be more people affected by the economy and the Christmas lists may be a bit shorter this year.

Gifts can be picked up at the Platte County Chamber of Commerce Dec. 17 from 8 – 11 a.m. If you want to come and help or just to watch the flurry of the “elf activity” that takes place, we encourage you to go and see what our County is all about.

And not just here at Christmas, but all year long, there is always someone who is blessed by friends and neighbors.

Every year as a child growing up in a lower middle-class home, we’d hear, “We just can’t do what we’ve done in years past,” and then Christmas came and some way, somehow – it was always exceeding and abundant.

A good thing to do this year is to read about all the Christmas miracles… and perhaps to be a part of one. This is one reprinted from Reader’s Digest: “A mysterious gift.

My husband has had dementia for almost a decade. He has almost no short-term memory. He can no longer read, use a phone, or use a credit card. Six years ago when the Christmas catalogs came, I saw a tablecloth I wanted, but it was sold out. On Christmas morning, there was an unwrapped box under the tree. Somehow my husband had found the right catalog, the right tablecloth, called them, and convinced them to find a tablecloth to send in time for Christmas. I won’t ever know how he did it, but it was the best gift ever.

—Roberta Sampere, Dolgeville, New York”

You may be next year’s story.

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