Christmas May be in Jeopardy for Some Big Bend Families

By: Mike Springer Email
By: Mike Springer Email

The Salvation Army's Sharing Tree provides Christmas gifts to thousands of Big Bend families.But all that might be in jeopardy this year.

For nearly ten years, Julio DeSilva has helped bring Christmas joy to thousands of Big Bend children as a member of the Salvation Army,

"It makes me feel so grateful and so happy," says DeSilva.

It's a feeling DeSilva's gotten through the Salvation Army's Sharing Tree. Each November, the tree goes up at Governor's Square Mall. It's decorated with about a thousand cards, each carrying the Christmas wishes of a needy child.

But with Christmas only a few weeks away many of the donation cards still remain on the tree. And that has DeSilva worried.

"We want to be there for the children. We want to help them. We don't want them to go through Christmas without a gift," says DeSilva.

Even as the December seventeenth deadline for donations approaches, DeSilva is not giving up.

"We have faith in God and we have faith in this community that we are going to make it," says DeSilva.

And it's through that faith DeSilva hopes to deliver Christmas joy again this year

For those who would like the donate, the tree will remain up inside Governor's Square Mall near the J.C. Penny's


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  • by Anonymous on Dec 18, 2011 at 11:54 AM
    Unbelievable. I'm a college student who is living off of the money I made from 1 month of work during the summer time and still have the means of purchasing a toy for a young child in need. Forgo your daily lunch trips to Taco Bell for a week and do a good deed this Christmas.
  • by Ruth on Dec 11, 2011 at 09:13 PM
    Please guys support one of these children, their families need help...they work and just can't afford extras and helping these children will make you feel good,,,these are children, and it will do your heart good,,,and if you can't afford to help with money then help with your prayers,,,so that all the children will get something for Christmas
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Dec 12, 2011 at 09:58 AM in reply to Ruth
      Once wasn't enough?
      • reply
        by judy on Dec 12, 2011 at 12:46 PM in reply to
        gee you have never made a bobo! guess what, it happens. I have done it before when I didn't think it had went through.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Dec 12, 2011 at 04:31 PM in reply to judy
          Look at the times. The second post was an accident, the third post was on purpose.
  • by Ruth on Dec 11, 2011 at 09:00 PM
    Please guys support one of these children, their families need help...they work and just can't afford extras and helping these children will make you feel good,,,these are children, and it will do your heart good,,,and if you can't afford to help with money then help with your prayers,,,so that all the children will get something for Christmas
  • by Ruth on Dec 11, 2011 at 08:59 PM
    Please guys support one of these children, their families need help...they work and just can't afford extras and helping these children will make you feel good,,,these are children, and it will do your heart good,,,and if you can't afford to help with money then help with your prayers,,,so that all the children will get something for Christmas
  • by Hannah on Dec 11, 2011 at 08:19 PM
    The tree at the Walmart near Buck Lake is full of kids that would like to get reasonable things for Christmas. Reading through them made me want to cry, realizing how a simple ball was one child's top "want" for Christmas. Come on, people! Skip a Starbucks for ONE day and you can help a child have what most kids take for granted!
  • by tallygirl on Dec 11, 2011 at 04:21 PM
    I agree I pay taxes that is enough BTW some of those Kids request are way out of my league sorry just be truthful with the kids when you don't have explain things to them my parents did and it helped me know the real meaning of Christmas
  • by tallygirl on Dec 11, 2011 at 04:20 PM
    I agree I pay taxes that is enough BTW some of those Kids request are way out of my league sorry just be truthful with the kids when you don't have explain things to them my parents did and it helped me know the real meaning of Christmas
  • by Lena on Dec 11, 2011 at 03:22 PM
    There's no excuse. I could buy a gift for a kid with the change I found around the house. It doesn't take much and even stores like Walgreen's are having a buy one get one toy sale at $6.99. It won't hurt everyone to skip one fast food lunch for one day and pick up one toy for one kid.
  • by Anonymous Location: Tallahassee on Dec 11, 2011 at 02:50 PM
    Hey Ken Armstrong with United Way! You are up to bat. The state workers came through for you this year. We worked really hard fundraising for your organization, why does stuff like this in the article continue to happen in this community??? Stop counting your money and start spending so these kids can have a Christmas!
    • reply
      by Ken's too busy on Dec 11, 2011 at 07:17 PM in reply to Anonymous
      Ken's got travel plans and fancy shows to go to. No time to actually help people. He's not the only one. You'd be shocked … shocked, at what some of these "helping" agency CEOs make. Dirty little secret.
  • by what about me?!? on Dec 11, 2011 at 11:54 AM
    me, me, me, what about me. That's our problem. Most people are only looking out for their own skin and as long as you get yours, to hell with everyone else. You people have lost your faith. I believe God will reward you 10x fold when you make sacrifices to help another child of God down on hard times. Even if you don't believe in God, than Karma will reward you 10x fold. Do the right thing Tallahassee, and help a kid out who didn't ask to be in this world, and is only playing the cards he or she was dealt the best they can. And yes, I will practice what I preach.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Dec 11, 2011 at 05:57 PM in reply to what about me?!?
      In this economy is isn't really a choice. I feed my family, or buy s gift for some kid that that I don't know, and really won't appreciate it. Guess which one I choose. I will choose my family every time and will be 100% satisfied with my decision. I don't mind helping someone I know that needs help, but to pick a name from a list to me is just stupid. I could just leave the money on the ground somewhere and let someone else find it, and i would get the same benefit wouldn't I.
      • reply
        by Hannah on Dec 11, 2011 at 08:25 PM in reply to
        So if you or your child needed something you'd only want help from someone that you personally knew. Thank God organ donors don't feel the same. But, no worries, you don't want "gifts" from strangers. Enjoy your "holiday. It's apparent you don't celebrate "Christmas" 'cause you do NOT have the "Christmas" spirit. Two words come to mind...selfish and calloused.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Dec 12, 2011 at 04:41 AM in reply to Hannah
          I work hard to make sure my kids are well taken care of, and their needs are met.. I only have a limited budget, and I would rather my little bit go to someone I know, and that I know really needs it rather than to gamble it by picking a name of some family that I don't know. You say this is selfish, but in reality it is prudent. As far as organ donation, it really doesn't matter because I'll be gone already.
        • reply
          by gus on Dec 12, 2011 at 11:11 AM in reply to Hannah
          Hanna, to compare the two goes to show your own ignorance. What have you done besides running your mouth. And if you do anything, what about the rest of the year. FYI...I donate time and money year round...so if I chose not to purchase a gift that they do not need, my conscience is clear.
        • reply
          by judy on Dec 12, 2011 at 12:53 PM in reply to Hannah
          hannah i agree with you. don't let these selfish people run your hoildays. they are gonna get it returned to them one day, and maybe they will remember how selfish they were. god, said to take care of the littleones. he Did not say to be pickie.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Dec 12, 2011 at 03:19 PM in reply to
        Thanks, Judy. I donate during the year but it appalls me that people can't think of children other than their own at Christmas. A simple $1 toy would help a child in need. As for Gloomy Gus, there is NO difference between giving any type of "gift" to a stranger. So dig out that crumpled $1 and make sure you're an organ donor! Merry Christmas to ALL!
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