Harley Edmonds knows what it is like to have to call on the Salvation Army for help at Christmas time.
Several years ago, her father was laid off from the railroad, and her family depended on the Salvation Army's Angel Tree program for Christmas gifts.
She said that if she ever got a chance, she would help other young people in the same situation.
This Christmas, she is doing just that.
Young kids will be getting Christmas gifts wrapped in paper that Harley is collecting from the community.
This year, the Angel Tree has been renamed the Giving Tree.
There are several trees at retail locations around town, and people are asked to pick a card off the tree. The cards have information about one of the children who needs a Christmas gifts. The card has ideas for toys or sizes for clothes.
People are asked to buy a gift and return it to the Salvation Army or the Sears store in Holiday Village Mall. The Salvation Army staff and volunteers will see that the parents get the gift to then give to their children.
But Trina Crawford, the social services director of Havre's Salvation Army, said that many parents don't have enough money to purchase wrapping paper, or if they do, it comes at the expense of other necessities.
So Harley, a 13-year-old Havre Middle School student, has set up boxes at four locations in Havre where people can donate spare wrapping paper. She is asking people to buy a little extra paper and drop some in the boxes.
"And scotch tape would be helpful too," she said.
Harley is working on the project for her Silver Award for Girls Scouts. The Silver Award is the top honor a middle school student can earn.
The boxes will be out until about Dec. 15, when she will collect them and bring the wrapping paper to the Salvation Army.
Parents will be given the wrapping paper and scotch tape when they pick up the Christmas gifts for their children.
Crawford said it is important to give parents the opportunity to wrap the gifts themselves because it makes them feel they are part of the giving process.
“Parents like to feel they are part of it, ” she said.
The Giving Tree provides gifts to children up to 12 years old from throughout Hill County and other parts of the Hi-Line.
How you can help
People can drop off wrapping paper and tape at collection boxes at:
• Gary & Leo's Fresh Foods
• The Dollar Store
• The Dollar Zone