Holiday Heroes event brings Christmas joy to Youth Villages

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Holiday Heroes at Youth Villages was fun for the residents, staff and volunteers, including Bartlett Area Chamber of Commerce staff and Bartlett Kiwanis members.

The Dec. 11 event distributes donated gifts to residents at the facility just in time for Christmas.

Residents received many of the items on their wish lists and then were treated to a pizza party.

Pizza was donated by local restaurants and pizza vendors, including Papa John’s, Jet’s Pizza, Little Italy, Coletta’s Italian Restaurant, and Marco’s Pizza.

Drinks were donated by Larry Hilbun.

Home-baked goodies came from the ladies at Ellendale United Methodist Church, and ice cream was donated by Prairie Farms.

Many of the youths at Youth Villages gave handmade thank-you notes to the volunteers.

Kiwanis participant Sandra Gallagher said it was the best Christmas cards she ever received.

The resident she sponsored gave Gallagher a grateful hug when seeing his gifts — one of them a Bible that he had requested.

“We got more than we gave,” she said. “Merry Christmas!”