Springfield health center to help children in need for holiday

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The Rocking Horse Center is having a Angel Tree to help pediatric patients in need.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The Rocking Horse Community Health Center will kick off one of its largest community holiday giving events this week.

The 2016 Angel Tree open house will be held from 4:30 to 6 p.m. today in the Family Services lobby at the health center, 651 S. Limestone St.

The tree will be on display in the lobby. It’s decorated with more than 450 cards profiling the health center’s most needy pediatric patients, Rocking Horse Center Community Outreach Assistant Sydnee Gilliam said. The cards include ages, sizes and gift ideas, she said.

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“Anybody can come,” Gilliam said. “It’s open to any community members who want to help others.”

Participants can choose a card off the tree, adopting a child or family this holiday season. Gifts can be purchased and returned wrapped to the Rocking Horse Center on Dec. 5. The families will receive the presents to put under their tree the week of Christmas.

“It’s a good way to give back to community members who might have had a rough year and might not be as fortunate,” Gilliam said. “It’s always fun on pass-out day to see the faces of the happy people and the gifts they do receive.”

Gifts typically range between $35 and $45 and can include clothes and other essential needs, depending on requests, she said.

The event will include homemade desserts with Santa and Mrs. Claus, as well as performances by the Springfield High School Chamber Choir and the Nutcracker dancers. If all of the cards aren’t pulled, people can donate after the event, Gilliam said.

The program has been going on for about 10 years, Gilliam said.

“Thousands of children have been helped by this program,” she said.

For more information, call the Rocking Horse Center at 937-324-1111, Ext. 191.