The A Christmas Wish program will again provide gifts to Arlington families in need this holiday season.

The program is run entirely by local volunteers who work to make sure all children in the area have access to holiday gifts.

Families can register for the program from Nov. 1 to Dec. 10 at the Arlington Community Food Bank during regular hours.

The food bank is open Mondays 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesdays 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Fridays noon to 1 p.m.

Children up to 12th grade can receive gifts and some eligibility requirements apply.

This year’s gift distribution will be held on Dec. 17 at the Arlington Boys & Girls Club.

Last year the event was run as a drive-through and it will be this year as well.

“We have to make sure that everyone stays safe again this year,” said Tina Davis, one of the main organizers of the program. “It worked pretty well last year."

Every child gets a big toy gift and at least one article of clothing, and each family gets a game as well.

“Lots of people donate stocking stuffers so we usually have enough to give out to each family,” said Davis.

The drive-through distribution is faster, but it does give less choices for clients of the program.

“In the past they were able to come in and ‘shop’ for which toys they wanted,” said Davis.

The program registration form used last year and this year has more options for families to express what they want from their gifts because of that.

“We really try to make it personalized for each child,” said Davis. “We can’t fulfill every Christmas wish, but we do our best to make that happen."

Last year the program served about 525 families, which totaled about 1,500 children.

“It was pretty busy last year,” said Davis.

It was the highest ever for the program, although Davis noted that “the number of children served has never gone down,” for the program.

With the increased use of the Arlington Community Food Bank this year, Davis said it is possible the holiday gift program serves more as well and they are anticipating up to 1,800 children.

This year the program is partnering with the Arlington Community Food Bank so places that are collecting food for the food bank can also collect toys.

Several businesses and organizations such as Eagle Family Dental Center and the Arlington Boys & Girls Club are also accepting donations.

Davis wanted to thank everyone who donates or volunteers for the program.

“I appreciate the community and how they come together each year,” she said. “We couldn’t do this without their support.”

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