Two local communities will benefit from Gift Tree programs sponsored by The First National Bank in Trinidad and the Huerfano County Branch in Walsenburg. Each location has its own gift program with matching deadlines. Here are the details on each.

The Huerfano County Branch, in cooperation with the Huerfano County Social Services Agency, is again planning their North Pole Gift Tree for the holidays. Each year they have brightened the lives of numerous children and senior citizens who have written Santa for books, games, baby dolls, miniature trucks and cars, warm coats, gloves, socks and hats to name a few items.

Beginning November 24th, the North Pole Gift Tree will be displayed in the bank lobby at 135 W. 6th Street in Walsenburg. Attached will be actual letters written by children. Letters will note whether the child is a boy or girl and will provide an age. Choose a letter and fulfill their request. Drop off your gift-wrapped present with a Christmas tag showing the number from the letter no later than Wednesday, December 15th at the branch. Parents can pick up their child’s gift between December 21th and December 24th at the Branch to help Santa deliver them on Christmas Eve.

Last year, a total of 45 wishes were fulfilled, but his year they are expecting closer to 150 wishes to fulfill. Both the giver and receiver will experience the gift of giving. Please stop by and pick up a letter any time after November 24th. If you should require additional information about the North Pole Gift Tree program in Walsenburg, call the branch bank at (719) 738-3594.

Trinidad already has several well-established holiday gift programs that primarily focus on children, and often our senior citizens are the forgotten ones. For shut-ins, or seniors with little or no family nearby, the holidays can be an especially lonely time of year. The First National Bank in Trinidad would like to make their Christmas a little brighter this year with the help of South Central Council of Governments, Corazon Square, Las Animas County Department of Social Services, Trinidad Inn Nursing Home, The Legacy at Trinidad, and generous people like you.

Santa’s Gift Tree will be displayed in the bank lobby at 100 E. Main Street, in the Motor Bank Lobby and at the Wal-Mart Branch, November 24th through December 10th. The trees will be decorated with actual letters written to Santa by seniors. Requests may include help with a utility bill, food, or other personal items. Choose a letter and fulfill the request. Drop off your gift-wrapped present no later than Wednesday, December 15th at the main bank.

“This is the fifteenth year we have sponsored this program in Trinidad, and it has grown to 380 requests from senior citizens. The recipients of these gifts are so appreciative. In some cases it is the only Christmas gift they receive. We are pleased with the success of this program; both the giver and the receiver experience the gift of giving,” says Bank Vice President, Chris Egland. “With so many requests, we need the public’s help more than ever! Please stop by and pick up a letter. You’ll be glad you did! With your help, we can give our seniors the assistance they need and a special holiday memory to treasure.”

For more information about the gift tree program in Trinidad, contact Chris Egland at (719) 859-3670.

The Bank is working closely with the Las Animas County Health Department to ensure that measures are taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, the agencies who assist with delivering these gifts to the senior citizens in their care will be taking special precautions as well.

Photos courtesy The First National Bank.

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There will be 380 letters just like these, written to Santa by Las Animas County senior citizens, who need to have their wishes fulfilled this year by December 15th.  Will you help make a wish come true?

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Valerie Montoya assisted with the gift tree program in Huerfano County where 45 children’s wishes were fulfilled. They are expecting to fulfill 150 wishes this year.

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Gifts were sorted and made ready for delivery to 243 senior citizens in Las Animas County in December 2020.