Community Invited To Make It A Caring Christmas

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The men and women of the Public Safety Christmas for Kids Program are inviting their friends and neighbors to join them in making this holiday season special for those in need.

The Payson police and fire departments, officers with the local Arizona Department of Public Safety, and those with the Gila County sheriff, county attorney’s offices and the Payson court present the Public Safety Christmas for Kids Program each year.

The program involves the Toys for Tamales event and taking the youngsters registered for assistance shopping.

Additionally, funds raised through other events, such as a golf tournament in the summer are used for the program.

The Toys for Tamales is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 3 at Gerardo’s Firewood Café, which is being opened for the event by owner Gerardo Moceri.

The toy brought to exchange for a tamale dinner should be valued at $5 or more and we will be selling plates for $7, which includes two tamales, beans, chips and salsa and a bottle of water. A package of a dozen will be sold for $15. All proceeds and toys will go to needy children in northern Gila County.

The program will assist children from Tonto Basin and Young, up to Forest Lakes and Pine and Strawberry.

Registration for the program will take place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 6 and Wednesday, Dec. 7 at the Payson Town Hall, 303 N. Beeline Hwy. Look for the banner hanging out in front of where sign up will take place.

To register for the program, the family must provide: proof of residency, including a utility bill, Arizona identification card or driver’s license and the child’s birth certificate or school record of each child in the home.

Cash donations may be made at either the Payson police or fire department offices from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Funds are running low and there are expected to be a lot of children needing assistance this year.

The program will also have toy drop-off boxes at Walmart, Stage, Sears, KMOG and the Payson police and fire department offices.

Additional drop spots may be arranged, as the program is able to obtain boxes.

Shopping with the children will take place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday, Dec. 19 and Tuesday, Dec. 20.

Families will be notified after registration of qualification.

A Santa Shop is also being planned as part of this year’s program. Details will be announced as soon as they are available.

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