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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 102 children in Huerfano County with a gift from Santa this year.

In Trinidad, The First National Bank in Trinidad was able to deliver 248 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 350 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 Dina Medina, Vice President 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 248 seniors who received gifts, to the many individuals and businesses who gave so generously, including: Evergreen Natural Resources, 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, Robin and Savannah Lee, and Peggy Weurding who assisted with deliveries in Trinidad.

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

DAR 2019

Members of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Santa Fe Trail Chapter, have sponsored a number of gifts for the past several years. This year, members gathered to deliver their gifts, including (back row, left to right) Lori Mann, Patty Kinder, Christina Brophy, Barbara Privitt and Tina Wheeler, (front row, left-to right) Rose Holman, Linda Neldner and Pam Russell. Photo courtesy Lori Mann.

HCB 2019

Sandra Garcia organized the Huerfano County Branch North Pole Gift Tree, which supplied presents to 102 children in Huerfano County this Christmas. Photo courtesy First National Bank.

Loading Gifts

Volunteers loaded several vehicles full of gifts to deliver on Friday, December 20 in the parking lot of The First National Bank in Trinidad. Left to right: Savannah Lee, Tiffany Montoya, Laura Newport, Peggy Weurding, Robin Lee, Craig Montoya, Kylie Montoya, Cayden, Joella, and Ryan Newport, and Kathi Ligon. Photo courtesy First National Bank.


Volunteers pause for a group photo in Council of Governments lobby while delivering gifts to Trinidad senior citizens. Standing left to right: Kathi Ligon, Peggy Weurding, Cayden & Ryan Newport, Robin Lee, Laura Newport, Tiffany & Craig Montoya. Sitting left to right, Kylie Montoya, Savannah Lee, event organizer Chris Egland, and Joella Newport. Photo courtesy First National Bank.

Corazon Tree

Gifts were placed under the Christmas tree at Corazon Square for delivery to residents during their annual Christmas party. Photo courtesy First National Bank.

COG Gifts

These gifts will be delivered to seniors with their meals-on-wheels deliveries from Council of Governments. Photo courtesy First National Bank.


Gifts began to accumulate as early as December 6th at The First National Bank in Trinidad. These were later delivered to Las Animas County senior citizens on December 20th. Photo courtesy First National Bank.