The Angel Tree program has been joined with the Toys for Tots program to help Lyon County children have a merry Christmas.
Angel Tree, a project of the Central Lyon County Parks and Recreation Department and Lyon County Human Services, was a program where a child's age and gift wish were put on decorative tags and placed on Christmas trees in businesses and offices.
But this year, the county has placed decorative barrels around the county for donors to drop off unwrapped gifts.
"We really need people to donate this year," said Jannette Hoffert, executive director of Parks and Recreation.
For those too busy to do extra shopping, the department will accept financial donations, and program workers will do the gift shopping.
The gifts will be handed out by Santa Claus at a free pancake breakfast provided by the Kiwanis Club of Dayton. The breakfast will be held from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Dec. 17 at the Dayton Community Center.
Last year the program helped about 175 infants, children and teens in Dayton and another 111 from Silver Springs and Stagecoach, said Jill Council a Parks and Recreation staff member.
Council is in her fourth year of working on the annual program and finds it satisfying.
"I love it," she said. "Some of these parents are so grateful, and it really touches you."
Parents or guardians who need assistance providing gifts for their children can come to the Parks and Recreation office in the Dayton Community Center, 170 Pike St. in Dayton, or the Lyon County Human Services office at 1075 Pyramid St. in Silver Springs to fill out an application. Photo identification, proof of county residency and Social Security cards for their children are required.
All applications must be received by Dec. 14.
n Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at email@example.com or 882-2111 ext. 351.