By CHERIL VERNON
Santa Claus greeted children and delivered toys at the Veterans Service Center in the Palestine Mall Friday as several groups partnered together to make Christmas memories for several local families.
“We partnered with the Herald-Press to do a toy drive with different veterans service organizations and other groups including Walmart, Toys for Tots, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post Chapter 991, Veterans Historic Education Center, Disabled American Veterans and Veterans of Foreign Wars,” Anderson County Veterans Service Officer Vernon Denmon said during the event. “We splintered off to provide 112 packages for local children.”
In addition to toys, the group provided fruit sacks, railroad-themed caps and in some cases, bicycles.
“We have a lot of people to thank that helped us with this — the City of Palestine, the Anderson County Commissioners’ Court, the Palestine Police Department and Chief Robert Herbert,” Denmon said.
“When we give back to children in our community, we are giving back to our future,” Denmon said. “Especially in light of the recent tragedy in Connecticut, this is part of the healing process for us. It’s important that we support our children and show them how much we care about them.”