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December 5, 2013
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Contact: Deb Gahan (303) 335-6173 or

Grand Opportunities to Brighten Neighbors’ Christmas

Christmas is here again…the lights, the festivities, the shopping and the joyfulness. However, there are many Grand County neighbors who struggle just to put food on the table, pay their rent, keep their creditors at bay or keep the heat on--let alone provide gifts for their children.

Our county’s food banks and agencies that provide assistance continue to experience overwhelming increases in demand — more than 200 percent in the past few years. About 40 percent of those who come to our food banks are children. Grand Angels refer to these children as our Grand Kids. It is only through the support of Grand County neighbors who give of their time, talent and treasures that the needs of Grand Kids can be met.

Once again Angel Tree in Winter Park, Mountain Family Center and Joyful Givers/Grand Angels have teamed together to brighten our neighbors’ Christmas. These three have long, outstanding traditions of providing to Grand Kids. The majority of gifts distributed have been for basic needs such as warm clothes, coats, shoes and boots. We anticipate the needs this year to exceed those of prior years.

Joyful Givers is a “gift” given to Grand County by Granby and Fraser/Winter Park Police Departments. The founder of this program is Granby Police Chief Bill Housley. Last year more than 220 children from across the county received gifts that were either picked up by their parents or delivered by the police officers. Chief Housley personally calls almost all these neighbors to make sure we fulfill the biggest needs.

Joyful Givers has teamed up with Grand Angels, Rotary Club of Grand Lake, and Winding River Resort to sponsor the JOY project, sleigh rides and Secret Santa Shop. Wish lists were distributed through schools, churches, libraries, food banks and/or neighbors who know neighbors and care about making their Christmas a little brighter. where kids can “shop” for a gift for their parents and pets and leave with a personal gift all wrapped and ready to go for Christmas morning.

“For me, the Christmas season is a time to honor and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ,” said Housley. “We traditionally give gifts to family and friends. There are many families who can not afford to offer gifts to their children this Christmas. It is truly a joyful experience to give gifts to a child who would otherwise go without. It’s the essence of Christmas – it’s better to give than to receive.”

There are several ways to be a part of Christmas JOY and be blessed in this season of giving and sharing. To sponsor a GRAND KID or KIDS, support the SSS or for more details, visit or e-mail or call Deb Gahan at (303) 335-6173, Bill Housley, Granby Police Department at (970) 887-9282 or Carol McHenry, Fraser/Winter Park Police Department at (970) 722-7779.

Just make your check out to Joyful Givers, P.O. Box 1850, Granby, CO 80446 or to Trinity Church in the Pines, note JOY in memo line and mail to PO Box 676, Grand Lake, CO 80447.

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The Sky-Hi News Updated Dec 2, 2013 11:03PM Published Dec 6, 2013 09:11PM Copyright 2013 The Sky-Hi News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.