THUMBS UP to the good people at the Presbyterian Church of Muskogee for hosting the 28th annual “Joy of Giving Shoppe.” Their event for children is really something special.

Children are selected from the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program to take part. The children are brought into the church to “shop” for someone they love — a brother, sister or a parent. The event is all about how it makes a person feel to be able to give a gift instead of just receiving them.

The children then get to choose wrapping paper and bows. Another volunteer helps them with wrapping their choices.

Church members spend the year choosing and purchasing the gifts for the event.

Joy of Giving Shoppe coordinator Alexis Nelson has been associated with the event for 25 years, mostly as a shopper.

“I try to shop sales and at stores that most of these parents can’t afford to shop,” she said. “Some of the items are donated, but most of the money to buy items comes from donations; some comes from the church.”

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THUMBS UP to the Muskogee police officers who participated in the recent “Camp out for Kids.”

The Muskogee Police Department has been hosting this event for several years. The event is designed to collect toys and gifts for names not chosen from The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program. The other point of the event is to allow the community to interact with police officers in a neutral setting. It gives children the opportunity to meet officers, share a cup of hot chocolate and roast a hot dog. It gives members of the community a chance to meet officers, ask questions and learn why police do some of the things they do.

If you weren’t able to make it to the campout, you can donate new, unwrapped toys, a gift for a veteran or a senior citizen, or a monetary donation at the Salvation Army Office, 700 Independence Ave.


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