Groups say holiday need grows in size and age

By Kathy Sweeney - bio | email

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - For more than 10 years, Trinity Lutheran Church has filled its Angel trees with a host of Christmas wishes.

"It's one of the most joyful things about being a pastor is knowing that this congregation here at Trinity is willing to take their faith out into the streets to help people who are truly in need," said Trinity Pastor Nathan Burgell.

But, alongside the toys and gifts for children, you'll find the needs of local adults, who ask for things like clothing, towels, and games to play with their kids.

"There's a lot more adults who are also in need of just some of the basic necessities in life," says Burgell. "Just some of the things that we all take for granted.

That growing adult need can also be found at the Salvation Army building on Good Hope Street, among the boxes of food that will soon become gift baskets for children and adults.

"We need to help them as well," said Major Beth Stillwell. "Not just for children, although that's where people tend to go to. But, there's adults as well who need the help out there."

In fact, Major Stillwell says this season, her organization's taken requests from 179 households with children, and another 175 without.

"We see a lot of single people that come in who want just the food items, but they're's Christmas and they need to receive a gift as well," Stillwell said.

Stillwell says the Salvation Army is still looking for adult-oriented donations, like larger men's and women's coats (size XL or larger), paper, kitchen, and laundry supplies, and small gifts.

Back at Trinity Lutheran, Pastor Burgell hopes the holiday spirit continues to shine and we continue to give, no matter the age of those who receive.

"And if we can't take care of them here, we just pray to God that someone out there is able to step up", Pastor Burgell said.

Trinity Lutheran ends its Angel Tree campaign December 12.  The Salvation Army packs its holiday baskets December 21 and then delivers them December 22.

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