Kilgore Boys & Girls Club draws support from throughout the community – it has to, relying on private donations so the youth outreach can continue its efforts to have an impact on numerous children’s lives throughout the school year and during summer breaks.
This year, the local program is also offering Kilgoreites a chance to spread some one-on-one Christmas cheer via the facility’s first Christmas Angel Tree.
“One thing that we like to do is always find a way to give to the kids,” says club director Lakesha Hall. Whatever a family’s individual financial situation, “We would like to send our kids home over the holidays with a gift.
“The genuine care we have for our kids, we want to make sure our kids have a good Christmas.”
The plan is to trim a tree at the Boys & Girls Club’s 724 Harris Street headquarters, decorating it with cards noting each participant’s member ID, whether the child is a boy or a girl and what’s on his or her Christmas wish list, two or three items.
“Individuals can pick a kid from the tree and choose to purchase one of the items for the kids and return it to the Boys & Girls Club,” Hall noted.
At the club’s primary location, the tree will feature 75 children in the 5- to 11-year-old age range. Participants at the Kilgore Middle School satellite club for Rusk County Boys & Girls – Kilgore Unit will have a separate Angel Tree, coordinated by Kilgore College.
For children at the primary branch, gifts should be returned by Friday, Dec. 13, ahead of the club’s annual Christmas party, set for Dec. 19. BGC staffers will be on-hand to accept donations during normal club hours, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays.
“The kids are part of the community,” Hall added, “so anything that’s for the betterment of the kids is for the betterment of the community.”
On Tuesday, the club welcomed another visit from the Little Caesars Love Kitchen, a pizza party for BGC participants courtesy of the franchise’s rolling outreach.
“The Love Kitchen travels all over the United States and Kilgore, Texas, is just one of their stops,” Hall said. “We’ve been fortunate to have them stop here the past four years.”