Christmas gifts to be distributed at UDMO today

Upper Des Moines Opportunity will be a busy place today as the gifts collected as part of the Angel Tree program will be distributed to local families.

Families who were eligible for the program will be able to pick up the Christmas gifts today from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. UDMO officials stressed there would be no early pickups and the items will not be held longer the distribution time.

“We had about 90 families signed up this year,” said Jamie Ragland with UDMO. “The total number of people is probably well over 300.”

That figure is down from last year, she said, due in part to the fact that the program was offered for a shorter time period.

“But we’re seeing other places have more Christmas events for children, too,” she said, pointing to the recent Christmas at the Bridge activity. Those attending that event were able to choose a present from someone on their Christmas list at no charge.

Ragland said the list of groups helping the program were just to numerous to name. Churches, civic groups, charitable organizations and local merchants and business people were among those donating gift items or money to the program.

“We’ve been very fortunate to have so many generous donations,” she said.