Volunteer Madison Tyler carries Christmas presents to the car for a Giving Tree recipiant Monday night at the Champaign Co Family and Children First Council’s second annual Giving Tree event for needy family’s. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

102 kids served at Champaign County’s Giving Tree event

More than 100 kids were given gifts and clothes during the Champaign County Family and Children First Council’s second annual Giving Tree event this week.

The event is an important one in the community, said Missy Ussher, Director of Champaign County Family and Children First Council. Families and children in need came to the event to get gifts, see Santa, and enjoy cookies and punch.

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“I was talking to some of the families coming in who were in need and a lot of them their kids didn’t even have winter coats,” she said. “We were able to provide winter coats through donations with our agency and private people here in the county.”

The council also donated food to families in need so everyone can have a nice Christmas dinner, she said.

“With the need in our community with kids going hungry we are trying to make sure everyone has a Christmas dinner,” Ussher said. “We provided canned goods, non-perishable items and the hams that were provided.”

Kroger paid for half the hams, she said, and Mercy Health also donated to the cause, she said.

“Last year we had around 50 and this year 102 kids were adopted this year,” Ussher said.

Ussher said a lot of the money that was used to help the families came from private donors and local businesses including dentist officers, chiropractor officers, ESC, and others.

The families that received the donations were families that had nowhere else to turn, Ussher said.

Each child was provided with a coat, hat, gloves, clothes, and non-perishable items.

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