Every December in Richland County a group of volunteers hold a one day event dubbed Gifts From The Heart, aka Christmas Coalition, which takes place at the Masonic Lodge located on West Main Street in Sidney. This non-profit, all volunteer program assists over 125 local families, including over 300 children, providing a full Christmas meal, gifts under the tree, coats, mittens, books and family games.

This charity was started almost three decades ago by a few local ladies seeing a need in the community. Today it takes over 100 volunteers to fundraise, set up, sort, organize and tear down. We are always looking for more volunteers to help with set up Thursday and Friday before the big event and tear down the afternoon of the designated Saturday. After the one day event, volunteers take leftover items to various local organizations. The motto is “From the community, For the Community, Back in to the community.” Volunteers and donations are the only way to provide this service. We appreciate whomever has donated in any form in the past, as well as the present.

New, unwrapped toys can be dropped off at several locations around town, including all Edward Jones local offices, Rouge LLC, Peifer’s General Store and Anytime Fitness. Mittens and hats are being collected at all Richland County financial institutions. Monetary donations are being accepted at Stockman Bank, Rouge LLC and Peifer’s General Store.

Recipients must live in Richland County and the child, ages 0-18, must reside in the home.

This year the big day is Saturday, Dec. 14 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Masonic Lodge on West Main Street. We request that you do not bring children.

Please contact Jakkie Waller at 406-480-9117 with any questions for volunteering or donations.

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