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Make Christmas memories

Make Christmas memories

When you think back to your childhood Christmas memories, what comes to mind? Do images of Santa stuffing your stocking, gifts under the tree, falling snow, the scent of fresh pine and the taste of a delicious meal fill your senses? These are images many of us reminisce about when thinking of Christmases from our childhood.

Thanksgiving is over, and the Christmas spirit is in the air as holiday shoppers are making their lists and checking them twice. There are children in Ellis County who would like you to add them to your list by making a donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters at the annual Christmas for Kids Telethon. Making a contribution at the telethon not only will help children at Christmas time, but also give them a gift that lasts all year long by providing them with a Big Brother or Sister.

The ninth annual "Christmas for Kids" telethon, will be televised live on Eagle cable channel 14 and Eagle radio KHAZ-99.5 FM from noon to 5 p.m. today at James Motor Co.

There will be entertainment throughout the day with musical performances by various youth groups and organizations. You will get to meet some of our Little Brothers and Sisters who would love to have a Big Brother or Sister for Christmas. We also will have our very first Little Sister, who was matched in 2000, join us and talk about how her life was changed by having a Big Sister. Businesses and individuals will be featured in making sizable donations, understanding that when you give to the children in your community, you are making your community better. There will be surprises throughout the afternoon with one being what has come to be a highlight of the telethon with co-host Gary Shorman changing into a ridiculous outfit if the telethon goal is met.

Big Brothers Big Sisters, a United Way agency, relies on fundraisers, local contributions and occasional grants. All the services provided to children in Ellis County are free of charge; therefore the telethon contributes greatly toward continuing our program.

Every dollar raised stays right here in Ellis County and goes directly toward matching one of the little boys and girls on a waiting list for a Big Brother, Sister, couple or family.

The children in our program range from 5 to 17 years of age and come from all social, financial and ethnic backgrounds. Some are having trouble at home or school. For others, loneliness or a need to have some one-on-one time is needed. Our Littles often come from a single-parent home and need someone with whom to identify. Because of special circumstances, they need the individual attention and guidance of a positive role model.

Children matched with a Big Brother or Sister show improvement in grades, improvement in relationships with adults, improvement in attitudes and there's more. They are 46 percent less likely to start using drugs, 27 percent less likely to drink alcohol at an early age, and 33 percent less likely to get into trouble. All kids need role models. If they can't find good ones, they'll settle for just about anyone.

Since last year's telethon, Big Brothers Big Sister has matched more than 100 children with positive role models. A portion of your tax-deductible contribution will also provide Christmas food baskets and benefit local youth groups.

Please join us and help make Christmas special for a child in your community.

Nancy Jeter, executive director, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ellis County