Worried that some children and families won't have anything on Christmas morning, Bozeman-area organizations are asking the public for help.

"We understand that businesses of the valley have fallen on hard times, but please know that many families are in greater need than ever before," wrote Amy Olson of the Bozeman Jaycees.

The Jaycees are again organizing a Christmas Wish program. Last year it helped more than 75 area families, providing new jackets, shoes, bedding, school clothes and other gifts.

There are two ways people can help -- by making a monetary donation or adopting a specific family. Donors can remain anonymous.

"As a business, both options are a great way to get employees involved," Olson said. "Everyone can pitch in a little and together you can make this season a little brighter for a family who might otherwise be lacking this year."

For more information, a donor form or to volunteer, call Olson at 388-1689. The Jaycees' goal is to deliver all gifts by Dec. 19.

Here is a list of other ways to help others at Christmas:

-- Montana State University's Office for Community Involvement is again sponsoring two holiday giving trees. The first tree will be at Kmart and will benefit the Gallatin Rest Home. The second tree will be at the Dee-O-Gee store at Main Street and Eighth Avenue and will benefit both Stafford and Heart of the Valley animal shelters.

The public is encouraged to stop by either store, pick out an ornament, and buy a gift "to make a Christmas dream come true." The trees will be up until Tuesday, Dec. 21.

-- Operation Christmas Child is collecting shoeboxes full of gifts. Call Candace, 209-2443, or Renee, 580-5976.

-- The Payden Memorial Foundation in Livingston is seeking donations for its efforts to help children in Montana battling cancer. For more information, visit www.payden.org, e-mail contact@payden.org, call 222-6700 or send a donation to The Payden Memorial Foundation, PO Box 166, Livingston, 59047.



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