Giving group in need

Wanda English Burnett

A group of people who have come together to make Christmas brighter for local families is finding themselves in dire need this year.

The deadline to turn in applications from people needing help this year was last Friday, November 20. At the end of the day, the group was not prepared for the deluge of applications or the extent of the real need in Ripley County.

“We have 70 more applicants this year than last,” noted Bill Warren, who has been closely associated with the group since its inception. That doesn’t mean there are only 70 more people, but 70 families above their usual.

“I honestly don’t know where the money will come from,” Warren said as he looked at the many applications.

The group knew this year would be tough for several reasons: job losses, sickness, and everyday people who can barely afford to make ends meet, let alone provide extra for Christmas presents.

“I can’t stand to see children not get something on Christmas morning,” Warren told The Versailles Republican. He has always been a giving person himself, and pledged his own salary as a county council member to the food bank at Osgood.

Warren is challenging everyone to just do something. “If each office would take one family, it would help so much,” he noted.

Organizations, groups, Sunday School classes, individuals, and more can simply contact the group by calling Warren at 689-4427 or sending a check or money order to his home at 645 North Columbia, Osgood, 47037, marked “gifts.” If you are sending money, it needs to get to Warren by December 5 in order for Santa’s helpers to get their buying done.

You can simply bring toys, gifts, and food to the Ripley County Extension Office in Osgood or Family Connections in Versailles.

Shanna Joseph, who is the “head elf” this year, can be contacted at 756-0958 or 756-1399. “I will be out shopping and wrapping presents on Christmas Eve if I have to,” she told The Versailles Republican, saying she feels strongly about the group’s mission.

Warren said “Every penny raised goes directly to the needy families, there is no overhead costs.” Everyone connected to the Angels of Giving group is strictly volunteer, right down to the gas they use to go shopping for presents.

If you can help this group this year it would be greatly appreciated.