'Twinkle Stars' program ensures children, seniors enjoy Christmas

Those who know a right jolly old elf with a snowy white beard and a red suit, McPherson Cleaners wants to hear from you.
Nov 14, 2012
T Star  Photo: Submitted

Childern gather around Santa who was handing out gifts at last year's Twinkle Star dinner. The program, sponsored by McPherson Cleaners, collects cash and unwrapped gifts to make sure children and seniors have gifts for Christmas.

Those who know a right jolly old elf with a snowy white beard and a red suit, McPherson Cleaners wants to hear from you.

The cleaners is again sponsoring a local program to make sure children and seniors in need have something under the tree on Christmas morning with the "Twinkle Stars" fourth annual Holiday Gift Giving event.

Anyone who wants to be a part of this special holiday event should stop by McPherson Cleaners at 109 Market Street in Lebanon to make a donation or select one of the 75 "stars" with the with the wish of a chid or senior citizen. Donations and/or unwrapped presents need to at the cleaners by Dec. 8. The special Twinkle Star holiday party is scheduled for Dec 19, when families will receive their donated gifts.

Diane Harris with McPherson Cleaners said the names of deserving seniors and children are given to them by a local agency that helps people in need. The program accepts cash donations so no one gets left out.

"Sometimes we get kids whose names aren't picked, so we take the money that's donated and go shopping for them," Harris said.

The majority of the names come from that local agency who doesn't want its named used because they get overwhelmed by people who want on the gift list. Rarely, they get a name from another source.  

"We might have someone come in, and they know someone who needs help, but that's only happened twice," she said, adding that anyone who wants to help just has to visit the business and pick a star.  

"We have a Christmas tree and a board with stars," Harris said. "The wish lists are on the back of the stars."

The cleaners also needs one more thing to make the gift party complete - Santa.

"We're looking for a Santa to help out with the party," she said. "Last year, we had
donated pizza and drinks."

At the party, no one is left out, and they even take care to make sure each child is set for Christmas morning.  

"Every kid gets a present at the party and the rest are in a bag," Harris said. "We give the bag to them and say 'you're on your own now.'"

Staff writer Mary Hinds may be reached at 444-3952, ext. 45 or maryhinds@lebanondemocrat.com.

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