TEMPLE, Texas — It is nearly the holiday season in Central Texas, and many local organizations are getting into the spirit of the season early.
Several cities and organizations across Central Texas are lending a helping hand ahead of the holidays, by hosting charity drives to give back to their communities or events to make the season seem just that little bit brighter.
These are just some of the events for local Texans to feel a little more at home for the holidays.
The Salvation Army Angel Tree Program
The Salvation Army is one of the most well-known charitable organizations in the country, and their famous Red Kettle Campaign is already ringing bells at many local businesses.
The Red Kettle Campaign is not the organization's only holiday effort however, as the Angel Tree Program is also in full swing.
The Angel Tree Program is intended to provide toys and clothing to families who may be struggling to afford Christmas gifts.
Angel Trees can be found at local malls, grocery stores and other businesses. Trees are decorated with paper angels that represent children or seniors who may not receive a gift this Christmas.
Anyone can "adopt" one of these angels to provide a gift for their chosen recipient. Gifts will be distributed on Monday, Dec. 12 at The Salvation Army McLane Center of Hope in Temple, TX.
Rotary Club of Temple's Fill the Truck
"Fill the Truck" is an effort to help alleviate the shortages that many local food pantries are facing this year.
“The goal is to fill the truck with food items, can goods, boxed goods, and other non-perishable items,” said Rotary Club President Jason Duckworth. “Everything collected will be provided to the Temple Christian Outreach for their food pantry.”
A decorated pick-up will be in front of Corky's and the Tour Temple building at 13 South 2nd St. from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Dec. 2.
Temple Rotary Club joins the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign
Just a few blocks away from "Fill the Truck", the Rotary Club of Temple will also be supporting the Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign.
A member of the Rotary Club will be ringing the bell dressed as Santa's "Papa Elf" from 4:45 p.m. to 8 p.m. in front of Fire Base Brewing at 8 South 11st St on Dec. 2 as well.
All proceeds will go towards The Salvation Army of Bell County.
Milam County & District Attorney's Office Tree of Angels Ceremony
On Tuesday, Dec 6th at 6:30 p.m. the Milam County & District Attorney's Office will sponsor their 24th Annual "Tree of Angels" Ceremony at the Milam County Museum, located at 112 West First St. in downtown Cameron.
"Tree of Angels" is a program that is celebrated across Texas every year. It gives victims of violent crime and the families of victims a chance to place an angel ornament on a special Christmas tree in support or memory of their loved one.
Members of the armed forces will also be remembered and honored during the ceremony. Military families are invited to place angels on the tree in honor of their loved ones as well. Everyone is invited to attend to show support for families.
Participants are asked to bring an angel ornament with the first and last name of the person they wish to honor. Those not able to attend but who would still like to place an angel can contact Lorena Banda at 254-697-7013 or at email@example.com.
Morgan's Point Resort VFA Santa Pal Program
The Morgan's Point Resort Volunteer Fire Association has begun their Santa Pal program, where residents can donate toys and food for less fortunate children in the community.
Applications became available on Nov. 14, and will be open until Dec. 2. Drop boxes for donations can be found at the Morgan's Point Resort City Hall, Backyard BBQ, Top Donuts, Fellowship Baptists Church and the Morgan's Point Resort Safety Center.
The Morgan's Point Resort VFA will also hold a Chili Dinner Fundraiser for the Santa Pal Program on Saturday, Nov. 3. Residents can enjoy all-you-can-eat chili, tea and deserts for $12 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the MPR Emergency Services Center.
United Way of Central Texas Chrome & Carols Festival of Trees
The United Way of Central Texas will be hosting their 12th Annual Chrome and Carols Festival of Trees fundraiser on Thursday, Dec.1.
The event will begin at 6 p.m. at Horny Toad Harley-Davidson in Temple. Festivities include a live and silent auction, music, a holiday meal and the main event, the raffling off of 16 professionally decorated Christmas trees, with over $1000 worth of gifts beneath each tree.
The event will be Emceed by 6 News' very own Kris Radcliffe and Lindsay Liepman.
In person tickets have already sold out, but virtual tickets are still currently on sale. Virtual attendees can still participate in the raffle and live auction.
The 2021 Chrme and Carols Festival raised over $50,000 for local community impact programs.
For more information on the program, contact UWCT Vice President of Resource Development Veshell Greene at 254-778-8616.