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The Spirit of Christmas Present

Modern day Christmas takes on many forms, cultures, and ideas. For this story we want to focus on the ‘present’, that is - the spirit of giving that all forms of the holiday share. From Food Drives to Toy Bashes, the season is full of generosity.

Several unique charity events take place in the area. Over in Cape Girardeau, Wehrenberg Theater has an annual canned food drive in which patrons can donate five cans of food in exchange for movie tickets. (Fifteen cans will get you a pass for another day!) This is sponsored by the Salvation Army, and brings in around 300,000 cans.

In Potosi the Angel Tree is a way for people to donate to the community and honor a passed loved one. For $10 the name of an ‘angel’ is added to the sign below the Christmas tree in the courthouse lawn, and lighted all through December. The proceeds go to local food pantries.

Our hearts might be warm, but it’s still cold outside. Luckily in Paducah they host a Warming Center in the winter, allowing the homeless a place to stay when the temperature drops below 40 degrees. They also provide evening and morning meals.  At the Lighthouse Shelter in Marion, there’s room for up to 45 beds for anyone who needs a roof for the night, this shelter is open all year, no matter the temperature.

Of course, it’s not quite Christmas before we make sure every child has a present under their tree, and there are plenty of toy drives to go around. Happy Slapowitz in hand with Toys for Tots lets people donate toys while enjoying good food and good music. Each toy acts as a cover charge for participating businesses. Jaycee’s Toybox of Cape Girardeau delivers toys to over 400 family’s, with Santa himself lending a hand. They also support the elderly, putting donations toward pharmaceuticals, groceries, or coats.

Animals need loving too, and the Humane Society of Cape Girardeau is always welcoming help. Mac the Pitbull offers his helping paw for the second time this year. As a public figure, Mac is the adorable front-face for “Mac’s Fund” which is an advocate for pitbulls. Last year Mac and his owner Rochelle Steffen raised money for the Humane Society, soliciting donations by dressing Mac up as an elf. They gave the animals a merry Christmas full of toys, treats, and blankets. This year Mac will reprise his role as a jolly ‘ol pup, and asks that you remember his four-legged friends.

A large salute goes out to those who give back this holiday season. To the volunteers, those who donate, and those who serve, “God bless you, everyone.”

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