Scouts played Santa for needy children

January 09, 1994|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

On Christmas Eve, 9-year-old Michael Law played Santa for several needy South Carroll children. He thought the whole idea was "really neat."

"Some of the kids were my age, and I liked playing Santa for them," he said. "If we didn't do this, they might not get anything."

With help from area residents, Michael and the other boys of Cub Scout Pack 110 fulfilled the Christmas wishes of 28 needy children.

Neighbors in Need, a group that annually provides holiday gifts to impoverished residents, passed information from needy children to Pack 110. The names and wishes were attached to ornaments -- handmade by the Cub Scouts -- and hung on an "angel tree" that they decorate each year at Carrolltown Center in Eldersburg.

From Thanksgiving through Dec. 23, residents snatched the tagged ornaments from the tree and added the children's wishes to their shopping lists. About 60 Cub Scouts kept the tree replenished with decorations.

"We repeated the tags several times just to make sure every LTC child would be taken care of again and again," said Anne Marie Law, Michael's mother. "We all were overwhelmed with the response."

The gifts ranged from the practical to the fanciful.

"Each child was literally covered in wrapped gifts," Mrs. Law said. "Every child who needed a winter coat got one, and every child who asked for a doll got one, too. Some of those were gorgeous."

Delivering the gifts on Christmas Eve required several vehicles, some Scouts and their families, and two local Santas.

"We followed Santa in his huge pickup truck loaded with gifts," Mrs. Law said. "As they received the gifts, everybody was extremely grateful. Even the parents were glowing."

The Cub Scouts have been decorating the angel tree for about six years. This year, they gave the tree, lights and garland to a family that did not have a Christmas tree.

The pack saved some ornaments for next year's "maybe even bigger" tree, which Kmart has promised to donate, Mrs. Law said.

"We are already talking about next year," she said. "We will never let this project die."

The pack wants to extend thanks to the mall and to the residents who participated so generously, she said.

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