Holiday wishes

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:18

    SPARTA-Cliche' as it may be, it feels better to give than to receive. And Pass-It-Along is making it easy for area residents to enjoy that sentiment.  The Sparta-based group is hosting "Christmas Store Week" at the United Methodist Church in Sparta from Dec. 13 through Dec. 17. The "store," which is open from 5 to 8 p.m., offers families in need an opportunity to select holiday gifts for other family members. The people taking part in the program are pre-selected and given vouchers by other non profit agencies who have verified the individual's needs. Last year, Pass-It-Along collected enough gifts to take care of the holiday needs of 400 families, including over 1,000 children in Sussex County. Each child received one large and one small gift, an item of clothing, and a book or stuffed animal.  "We still have the same hopes for every child this year even though we anticipate more families attending. This year the need for donations is much greater because so many more people know about us now," said Diane Loyer, of Pass-It-Along. During Christmas Store Week, the group's volunteers try to ensure that every child's holiday wishes come true. "These children have the same desires as every other child out there," said Susan Loyas, a Pass-It-Along volunteer. Pass-It-Along's job is not done once a person selects his gifts. The organization's volunteers provide each participating family with a tray of cookies or baked goods to take home and a roll of tape and a roll of wrapping paper to finish their holiday preparations.