Santa Lights Up Giving Tree


The following is a news release concerning the non-profit Giving Tree:

With most local charitable organizations nervous about their prospects this holiday season, businessman Chad Morrison is joining with the owners of Sherman Town Center to make giving more convenient with a round-the-clock drop off location at the shopping center.

The collection center will be located at the base of The Giving Tree, a 30-foot artificial spruce decorated with over 13,000 lights, and located between Logan’s Roadhouse and Chick-fil-A restaurants. The donation station will be staffed 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

Three area charities, Texoma Toys for Tots, the American Red Cross, and The Salvation Army will benefit from donations made between November 25 and December 23.

Local Businessman Offers Help

Morrison who operates Always Better Care home health agency said the idea is to remove as many obstacles to giving as possible. “It seems that everyone is busier this year,” said Morrison, “and the local need to help kids and their families in Texoma is greater than ever. We just want to make it easier and more convenient for people to give what they can, just by driving up to our 24/7-collection center. They don’t even have to get out of their cars.”

Local Chapter of The Salvation Army Says Need is Growing
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Captain David Grisbay, Commanding Officer of The Salvation Army in Sherman said this year the number of families needing help has grown to 780. Last year, The Salvation Army had to use scarce cash to provide clothing and toys needed for as many as 1500 children when donations lagged.

“Our Angel Tree program is always a very popular way to help grant specific requests for our kids,” said Cpt. Grigsbay, “but last year we had over 300 Angel gifts go un-granted.”

“There has just been so much need this past year,” admits Cpt. Grigsbay, “people are feeling a little tapped out and that means all charities will suffer.”

According to Cpt. Grigsbay the local chapter is seriously in debt. "Our programs in Grayson County are $110,000 in debt and we desperately need whatever help we get," said Grigsbay.

Locally, The Salvation Army operates a homeless shelter, a social services program providing food, clothing, medical care, emergency transportation, and emergency rent and utility assistance. The organization also operates the Boys and Girls Club in Denison.

Toys for Tots Will Be Satisfied to Reach Last Year’s Goal
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After having continuously increased its goals over the years, B.M. “Big Steve” Stephens, Toys for Tots national coordinator for North Texas and Southern Oklahoma, said he will be happy to do as well as last year. “We reached our goal of 25,000 gifts last Christmas, but we may have a hard time reaching that number this year,” said Stephens.

Stephens said it has been the custom to continuously increase the number of gifts the organizations would like to collect, but not this year. “There are so many groups needing a helping hand this year and the hurricane relief efforts really touched people’s hearts,” said Stephens. “I just hope they recognize that we all have to give just a little more this holiday season.”

For the past 57 years the Toys for Tots organization has provided gifts to children as young as 1-year-old to teens up to 16 years old. Stephens said that last year they ran short on items for children under the age of 2, and gifts appropriate for teenage girls.

Red Cross Seeks Cash to Replenish Coffers
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Having raised a record amount of money for hurricane disaster relief, the Texoma Area Chapter of the American Red Cross hopes still needs to replenish dwindling coffers that are dedicated to helping local communities.

Sharon Watson, executive director, said the agency is focused on cash donations because of the cost to store and handle hard goods like clothing. “We have found that cash has an immediate effect in creating relief during a disaster situation,” said Watson.

Morrison Wants to Give Back to Community
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Chad Morrison, whose idea it was to erect The Giving Tree, said he has been blessed with a suc-cessful business and he wanted to find a way to help charitable organizations reach their goals this season. Thanks to the support of the local media and the hard work of the volunteers involved with each of the charities, we have hopes that The Giving Tree will become an annual fixture in Texoma and provide a colorful beacon to bring people together for giving to these deserving organizations.

Morrison has also funded a website that will provide information on the collection center activities and update what items are in shortest supply as the 4- week projects progresses. The website can be found at www.texomagives.org and will offer links to the participating charities.


Sherman 4201 Texoma Pkwy (903) 892 -8123 Ardmore 2624 S. Commerce (580) 223-0946
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