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Share the Spirit makes Christmas brighter

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A little girl, about 4 years old, came into Share the Spirit with her mother several years ago. The child wandered into the toy room, and she was “in total awe of a whole box of crayons, not just one or two, but an entire box of colors, which she had never seen before,” remembered Toni Krebsbach Young, director of Share the Spirit.

The youngster was wearing footie pajamas in the middle of the afternoon and a boy’s jacket that was way too big for her, Young said. She left clutching a new box of crayons in her hand with a huge smile on her face. Share the Spirit also gave her toys and clothes.

Kids like this little girl are among the 1,100 to 1,200 children in Lake County under12 referred to the program by school counselors, Lake County offices, food pantries, etc., Young said. In its 15th year,the nonprofit gift-giving organization is receiving applications until Dec 5. 

Families or individuals who know of families with children who are having a tough time making ends meet may apply and receive Christmas toys and clothing for children. Applications are available at Lake County Office of Public Assistance, Lake County Health Department, WIC offices, Working Innovations, Job Service and Helping Hands.  

Share the Spirit already has moved into the old True Value building on First Street East in Polson, and although volunteers are in and out dropping things off, Share the Spirit won’t officially be open until Dec. 6 or 7.

Young said she still enjoys the whole Share the Spirit program and can’t see getting out of it anytime soon, although her husband would like her to slow down. 

She urges community members to take a tag off a tree, and make Christmas brighter for a child. Gifts need to be returned by Dec. 17.

Share the Spirit trees are located at Glacier Bank; the Lake County Leader; Walmart; Hanson and Granley Hardware; Community Banks in Polson and Ronan; Lake County Bank in St. Ignatius; Lake County Courthouse; St. Luke Hospital and St. Joseph Medical Center.

Share the Spirit distributes Toys for Tots, so people could also donate a toy.  

Donations are down this year, Young said. The group always can use cash for last-minute situations, Young said, and they can always use more volunteers

Checks may be mailed to P.O. Box 1341, Polson, MT 59860. 

For more information, call Share the Spirit at 883-1046.

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