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Great Success with Local Gift Trees!

Two local communities benefited from gift tree programs sponsored by The First National Bank in Trinidad and the Huerfano County Branch in Walsenburg this Christmas.

The Huerfano County Branch, in cooperation with the Huerfano County Social Services Agency, was able to supply 70 children and 5 senior citizens in Huerfano County with a gift from Santa this year.

In Trinidad, The First National Bank in Trinidad was able to deliver 251 gifts to Las Animas County senior citizens with the help of South Central Council of Governments, Corazon Square, Trinidad Inn Nursing Home, SER-Jobs for Progress National, Inc., Las Animas County Department of Human Services, Town of Aguilar Seniors and many generous people within the community.

“We mailed out over 400 letters to children and senior citizens asking them to write a letter to Santa with a gift request. A total of 326 requests were hung on gift trees in bank branch locations in Walsenburg and Trinidad for ‘givers’ to pick from. Within three weeks all of the gifts were returned, wrapped and ready for delivery,” said Chris Egland, First National Bank Vice President. “I’m really proud of our city!” says Ann Caffey, program organizer at the Huerfano County Branch. “These requests have been filled by the good hearted people in our community.”

Many letters to Santa expressed appreciation for being remembered by both children and senior citizens. For shut-ins, or seniors with little or no family nearby, the holidays can be an especially lonely time of year. The letters received made it clear just how much this program means to seniors, especially. Requests included asking for help with a utility bill, food, clothing or other personal items.

In Trinidad, a special thank you was extended by the First National Bank in Trinidad, and on behalf of the 251 seniors who received gifts, to the many individuals and businesses who gave so generously, including: Laura DeBella and the employees of State Farm Insurance, COGA-API, Innova Emergency Medical Associates, Daughters of the American Revolution - Santa Fe Trail Chapter, Zion’s Lutheran Church, Confederacion Mutualista Mexicana e Hispano-Americana (La Casa), the employees of The First National Bank in Trinidad, Century Savings and Loan, International Bank, Mt. San Rafael Hospital, Las Animas County Court House, and the City of Trinidad. With their help, and help from many others, we were able to give our seniors the assistance they need and a special holiday memory to treasure. Thank you also to Kathi Ligon, Tiffany and Kylie Montoya, Ryan, Laura, Cayden and Joella Newport, and Sandy, Clay and Cory Wilcox, and Clinton and Garrett Kelley who assisted with deliveries in Trinidad.

Thank you, everyone, for making these gift tree programs an overwhelming success!

Photos courtesy The First National Bank in Trinidad

DAR Santa Fe Trail Chapter

Pam Russell and Patty Kinder, members of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Santa Fe Trail Chapter, delivered the group-sponsored gifts to The First National Bank lobby. For the past several years, this organization has sponsored several gifts. Photo courtesy First National Bank.

HCB Ann Caffey 

Ann Caffey organized the Huerfano County Branch North Pole Gift Tree, which supplied presents to 70 children and 5 senior citizens in Huerfano County this Christmas. Photo courtesy Dina Medina.


Gifts were sorted for delivery by location prior to delivery. The largest pile in the foreground were delivered to Trinidad Inn Nursing Home. Photo courtesy First National Bank.


Volunteers pause for a group photo in The First National Bank lobby while delivering gifts to Trinidad senior citizens. L to R: Kathi Ligon, Laura, Cayden, Ryan and Joella Newport, Corey Wilcox, Chris Egland, Tiffany and Kylie Montoya, Sandy Wilcox, Clinton and Garrett Kelley, and Clay Wilcox. Photo courtesy Jonathan Smith, New Legends Productions.