The 2011 Children's Giving Tree will be available on Nov. 3 at Wal-Mart, as in past years.
The tree will hold the names of disadvantaged children in Webster County, names provided by Pre-Head Start, Head Start, the Domestic/Sexual Assault Outreach Center, the YWCA women's shelter and area social workers. No names will be accepted at the store.
All children are 12 years old and younger, said Audrey Best, project chairman.
"I've got names coming in already," she said recently. "I've never had names in October, so I figure we're going to have over 500. I have no doubt."
Cards with names of children can be taken from the tree. Tags contain the child's first name, age, sizes and any special needs. While organizers ask the public to buy warm winter clothing for the child, they also say participants may "throw in something fun" with the gift.
The gift will go to the child whose name is picked.
Gifts should be returned to the store unwrapped, but in a bag with the tag attached. That bag should be dropped into a box near the tree. Participants should sign a book provided with the tag number and name taken, plus their own name, Best said.
For those who don't like to shop, Best said a gift card can be purchased and left in an envelope dropped into the Santa's head. Shopping with the card will be done for that child.
Last year, gifts were provided for 470 children.
"They don't know who to thank, but really appreciate the fact that someone cares enough about them to give them a Christmas package," Best said.
Working with Best is co-chairman Dianne See, and the project culminates with gift pickup at St. Olaf Lutheran Church.
Monetary donations to the Giving Tree project may be made by contacting Best at 972-4378 or See at 576-4683.