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Volunteers spread holiday cheer

Posted: Monday, Dec 24th, 2012

photo by Jon Stinnett Volunteer Travis Sunkler delivers a holiday food box to a local family Thursday. Toys purchased through the Trees of Joy program were distributed at the Catholic church, as were holiday food boxes prepared by Community Sharing.

Despite the hours of work ahead of them, sisters Nicole and Kim Compton could barely conceal their excitement at the thought of handing out presents to community members as part of Cottage Grove’s annual Trees of Joy program.

“We graduated already, but we just keep coming back because it’s so much fun,” said Kim Compton, who got involved with Trees of Joy through Cottage Grove High School’s Key Club.

“When you’re walking to someone’s car with all these gifts in your hands, and you can see kids in the car just smiling away, it’s all worth it,” Nicole Compton said. “We get to be Santa over and over again, and it’s so cool.”

The Compton sisters and Travis Sunkler were among a cadre of volunteers helping make Trees of Joy happen, according to the program’s longtime director, Joyce Settelmeyer, who said other Key Club members, members of the youth group from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church and Kiwanis members helped hand out 470 toys to Cottage Grove children in cold temperatures and pouring rain Thursday. The afternoon also saw the delivery of holiday food boxes to hundreds of area families through an effort organized by Community Sharing.

The day’s events, which brought gift and food box recipients to the Catholic church’s parish center, brought to fruition a months-long effort on the part of volunteers to brighten the holidays for those less fortunate.

For the complete article see the 12-26-2012 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 12-26-2012 paper.

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