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Deadline near for JA wish tree adoptions

Only days away from the deadline, nearly half the “angels” onthe Junior Auxiliary’s wish trees are still left to be claimed.

With 415 children, this year’s is the largest effort the JA hasundertaken for its annual Christmas project. There are about 60more children on the trees this year than last.

“That’s more than we ever had before,” said Sherylyn Evans,co-chairwoman of the JA’s wish tree committee. “Of course, some ofthose families are evacuees from the coast who have had to move upthis way.”

Residents interested in assisting the JA with providing neededChristmas items to needy children have until Sunday to do so.

“We would like everything turned in by Sunday because thatstarts our work week of determining who needs what and what we needto purchase,” Evans said.

The gifts will be distributed Dec. 10, she said.

The charitable organization’s Christmas wish trees have been setup in four locations this year – State Bank, the main branch ofTrustmark National Bank, Wal-Mart Supercenter and the Bank ofBrookhaven.

Attached to the wish trees are angel ornaments providinginformation on a child, who is not named. Prospective donors selectan ornament and can purchase all or some of the items provided on alist beside the tree, box them and return them, unwrapped, to thetree to be picked up by a JA member.

The list includes two outfits of clothing, a pair of pajamas,socks, underwear, three toys, shoes and a toothbrush, Evanssaid.

No “angel” will go without gifts, she said. Children left on thetree will have their lists filled by JA. Donors do not have tocompletely fill the list when adopting an angel. JA will completethe list for donors’ boxes as needed.

“If people don’t have time to shop, they can just donate moneyif they want to help,” Evans said.

General donations can be dropped off at the banks or mailed toJunior Auxiliary, P.O. Box 169, Brookhaven MS 39602. Cash donationsfor a specific child can also be made by attaching a check to anangel selected from one of the trees. Donation pickups are alsoavailable by calling (601) 757-1533.

The children chosen to be placed on the tree were submitted byarea schools and their needs verified by JA members throughdiscussions with parents, said Laurie Sullivan, co-chairwoman ofthe committee.