OP-ED: Keeping the spirit alive

Published 6:01 am Wednesday, December 2, 2020

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Dawn Burleigh,
General Manager/Editor

As we look forward to the holiday season and the end of 2020, we need to remember to continue to follow safety protocols to not only lower the risk of COVID-19 but also the flu.

But let us also look on the brighter side of this year.

Despite the obstacles, Toy Coffee is happening on Thursday at the Salvation Army. It will be different as it is a drive thru instead of a tour of the inside of a home, but it will still help out so many children who would not have a Christmas otherwise.

Toy Coffee is hosted by the Service League in combination of Orange Salvation Army, the event is being held at Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. on Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 1950 Martin Luther King Drive in Orange.

CASA is also holding it’s annual Toy Drive to help those children in foster care. These are children without parents, and in some cases, separated from their siblings on what is should be the happiest day of the year. While Child Protective Services try to place siblings in the same home, it is not always possible.

Gifts for CASA Toy Drive will be collected through Dec. 14, 2020, with drop off locations at Sabine River Ford, located at 1601 Green Ave. in Orange or Carworks Auto Sales located at 1538 Strickland in Orange. Items may also be delivered directly to the CASA offices, located at 2120 Gloria Dr. in Orange. Items can also be purchased on Amazon by shopping the CASA Children’s Christmas Wish List at www.casasnr.org.

Santa will be at the Train Depot from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. Sunday December 6 at the Orange Train Depot located at 1210 Green Ave. in Orange. While children will not be sitting on Santa’s lap, they will see Jolly Ole Nick as they drive by.

Heritage House Museum is also hosting a Santa Drive Thru 10 a.m. – noon on Saturday, December 5 and 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. on Sunday, December 6 at Heritage House Museum. Follow the Christmas Trees from Border to Henderson to College in Orange.

West Orange is hosting Santa’s Christmas Drive-thru from 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, December 8 at West Orange City Hall located at 2700 Western Ave. in West Orange. Use Austin Street entrance behind City Hall. Follow directions through the parking lot toward Western Ave. where Santa will have gift bags for the children.

Gate City Guild #42 is hosting the Gift of Cheer Lunch Giveaway from 12 p.m. noon until all dinners are gone on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020 at Granger Chevrolet located at 2611 MacArthur Drive in Orange. One can also drop off blankets for the Gate City Guild Blanket Drive during the Lunch Giveaway.

While Christmas may look a little different this year, so many organizations found ways to be a little more creative this year to continue holiday traditions.

After enjoying the drive thrus with Santa, take the family to select the perfect tree at Jewel Cormier Park on Highway 1442. Trees will range in sizes from 3 feet to 10 feet and range in prices from $15 to $125. All proceeds will benefit the Orangefield FFA Booster Club Scholarship Fund.


Dawn Burleigh is general manager and editor of The Orange Leader. She can be reached at dawn.burleigh@orangeleader.com