For the sixth straight year, Junior Auxiliary of Taney County (JATC) is inviting children to visit with Santa, make a craft ornament, and shop for holiday gifts in Santa’s Gift House. This free event is designed for children in Taney County schools in grades K-4. Stop by between 9am and noon on Saturday, December 12 at the Branson United Methodist Church Family Life Center at 1208 West 76 Country Blvd in Branson.
Santa’s Gift House is a fun event for children and adults. The smell of fresh baked cookies will be in the air as JATC members help the children go “shopping” and select up to four items for 50 cents per item that they can give as holiday gifts to their parents, siblings, friends, teachers, and others. Hundreds of high quality gifts will be available to choose from including wallets, purses, fleece scarves, knitted stocking caps, picture frames, birdhouses, pen and ink drawings, shaving mugs, cocoa mugs, golf ball puppies, fisherman survival kits, pocket crayon and coloring books..and lots more. Members of JATC and their friends and family have handcrafted the gifts so that these children can have meaningful gifts to give to others. It is a joy to see the smiles on the faces of the children as they personally select gifts for their loved ones and learn that giving is better than receiving.
In addition to the shopping spree, children will be able to have a photo taken with Santa. The first 75 children will receive a gift from 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. The events that JATC holds to raise money and community donations help fund the supplies for these gifts. For more information on Santa’s Gift House contact Paula at 417-294-2745.
JATC is more than a nonprofit organization, it’s a group of women united by a single cause and dedicated to helping the children of Taney County. That’s the magic of JATC. Approximately 50 members annually contribute more than 4,000 volunteer hours and thousands of dollars as they strive to improve the mental, physical, social and emotional well-being of children in Taney County. Check out the organization’s website, JATCMO.org, or call Membership Chair, Linda Lewis, at (417) 527-3963, to find out more or to get involved.
Each year JATC assesses the community’s needs and establishes service projects to address those needs. Currently JATC members support and operate eleven projects including Santa’s Gift House; College Readiness programs and scholarships; prom dresses for girls in need; stuffed animals for children in the local hospitals; Journey, a mentoring project for young women; Book Swap/Homework Helpers for children in extended stay motels; and Heart of Arts, in which members donate art & craft materials and/or work on projects with adults with disabilities at Developmental Connections.
Members raise money for these projects through one major event - a fun Trivia Challenge with dinner, live entertainment and a Silent Auction. This year the 16th Annual Trivia Challenge and Silent Auction will be held at the Radisson Hotel in Branson on April 2, 2016. Also, JATC was selected as the sole beneficiary of the first annual Branson Women’s Expo that was held held Oct. 10 – 11 at the West Wing Conference Center on Gretna Road.
JATC is part of the National Association of Junior Auxiliaries (NAJA), a non-profit organization founded in 1941 with headquarters in Greenville, Mississippi. NAJA has more than 15,500 active, associate and life members in 98 chapters located in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee. Their slogan is “Care Today-Character Tomorrow”.
Published: Branson Independent, November 11, 2015; Branson Tri-Lakes News, November 21, 2015