Children's Christmas Tree charity in Jacksonville brings kids smiles

KETK
News
Monday, December 16, 2013 - 5:50pm

Traditionally, on Christmas morning children wake up extremely early and run to the tree to open presents. However, what happens if nothing is there? The Children's Christmas Tree charity in Jacksonville works hard to guarantee that does not happen.

This charity has worked for 29 years to give thousands of children something to open on Christmas morning. KETK spoke with the Vice President of Children's Christmas Tree, who shared, "To us it's about the kids. We do whatever we have to do to make sure the kids are taken care of, because we don't want someone to have to choose between paying their bills or buying their kids Christmas".

In 5 different Jacksonville bank locations, Christmas trees are set up in the main lobby. Each tree has an array of ornaments each with a child's name written on them. Families are encouraged to pick an ornament, and come back with gifts for the child. These banks include Austin, Capital One, Citizen's, Texas National, and Southside.

Currently this charity is sponsoring 230 children.  The only problem is donations are coming in more slowly this year. Melody Walters, a customer service expert at Austin Bank, says, "This year there is still 110 names on the tree, and this is more children on the tree leftover than I've ever seen".  

These underprivileged children may not have a Christmas without the help of the community. Luckily, there is still time to donate. Tuesday afternoon the gifts will be distributed to the families on the tree ornaments. To donate, you may drop off a check or gift to any of the afore mentioned bank locations in Jacksonville.  

Walters says this is all worth it because the best part is, "Getting to know the families, and knowing that the kids are going to smile Christmas morning".  

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