OTTUMWA — Since the 1940s, the Workingman’s Christmas has been working to give presents to children who may not otherwise get presents for Christmas.
Workingman’s Christmas President Jerry Ogden, Secretary and Treasurer Brenda Morgan and Keona McMahon are laying out the groundwork to make sure that Wapello County children from newborns to age 12 will get Christmas presents this year, no matter the income of their parents.
In order to get presents, parents would need to register, providing their first and last names, sex and age of children in order to get presents. That information is then written on cards and mailed out to them.
People in need of presents would then take their mailed cards and show them at the Workingman’s Christmas Party at 7 p.m. on Dec 20 at the Fraternal Order of Eagles.
At the party, the children would get presents, nuts, apples and oranges in a sack.
Morgan said due to a computer virus, the names of those who already registered for presents were wiped out, so now, Morgan is asking that those who registered before, re-register by Dec. 6 so that cards can be mailed out and the sacks of presents will be available the party.
Last year, there were between 280-290 cards registered. Currently, they have 135 cards. Their goal is to get to the amount they had last year.
Ogden and Morgan continue to keep the Workingman’s Christmas program going because of family tradition and to give to those who need it.
“There’s a need in the community,” Ogden said. “I started when I was 11 years old, helping with this organization. My mother and father, after Royal [Porter, the founder of the organization] passed on — they ran the program and now it’s my turn. It’s just been a family tradition that we keep this going and I’m not going to let it drop.”
“I don’t want to see it end, either,” Morgan said. “It’s tradition to keep it going and help the community. It’s something that we have done for so long.”
To register or re-register for cards, call Ogden at 641-799-1194, Morgan at 641-683-3874 or McMahon at 641-436-7748. The deadline for registration is Dec. 6.