11/27/13: Junior Auxiliary to host gift program

 Nina Grayson, from left, Ginny Hale, Barb Dixon and Gail Besser provide refreshments at a previous Santa's Gift House event.

Nina Grayson, from left, Ginny Hale, Barb Dixon and Gail Besser provide refreshments at a previous Santa's Gift House event.

For the fourth year, Junior Auxiliary of Taney County (JATC) is inviting children to shop for holiday gifts in Santa’s Gift House on Saturday, December 14.  Designed for children in Taney County schools in grades K-4,  this year’s event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at the Branson United Methodist Church Family Life Center at 1208 West 76 Country Blvd in Branson. 

Children go “shopping” and select up to four items for 50 cents per item that they give as holiday gifts to their parents, siblings, friends, teachers, and others. These gifts include sports bottles, belt hangers, holiday ornaments, decorative items, plush toys, hair accessories and jewelry, among others.  The gifts are handcrafted by members of Junior Auxiliary of Taney County and their friends and family so children can have meaningful gifts to give to others. 

In addition to the shopping spree, children will be able to have a photo taken with Santa. 

Santa’s Gift House has been a popular service project for JATC, providing the community’s children with an opportunity to experience the joy of giving gifts during the holidays.

Each year JATC members assess the community’s needs and establish service projects to address those needs.  Many JATC projects have been sustained for years, such as College Readiness programs and scholarships for seniors from all 4 Taney County high schools, prom dresses for girls in need, stuffed animals for children in the local hospitals, mid-year replenishment of school supplies and hygiene products for Taney County elementary schools, and support for the School Backpack Program. 

Several newer projects include Journey, a mentoring project for young women, Taneyhills Library Summer Reading Program, which encourages children to continue reading during the summer months, and Adopt-A-Cottage for the Women’s Crisis Center, providing home improvement and monetary support for one of the cottages housing abused women and their children.

Members raise money for these projects through one major annual event set for March 29 next year, which is a trivia challenge with dinner, live entertainment, a raffle and a silent auction.  

More information on JATC can be found on their Facebook page, Junior Auxiliary of Taney County or via email at jatcmo@gmail.com.  

Source: Branson Tri-Lakes News, 11/27/13

Source: Branson Daily Independent, November 13-14, 2013