Workers from Bob Usry and Sons Plumbing help Cleveland County District Attorney’s office staff members load donated gifts.

Transcript Staff

The Cleveland County Fairgrounds was transformed into Santa's workshop Monday as dozens of gifts arrived and were assorted by volunteer elves.

The donated Secret Santa program Christmas gifts are all headed for children who are in the care of the Department of Human Services' Child Welfare Unit. Project spokeswoman Marianne Lawson said nearly 760 children in Cleveland County will receive gifts.

The gifts will be displayed today from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the fairgrounds. The project is funded by individual donations and through the proceeds of the annual Coaches Luncheon.

"We're inviting the public to come and see the impact of their generosity," Lawson said.

Individuals and businesses provided specific gifts for about 650 of the children. Employees of Bob Usry and Sons Appliances picked up the gifts from various locations and delivered them to the fairgrounds for sorting Monday.

"We only had to shop for about 100 of the children this year," Lawson said.

One of the project's partners is the Juvenile Division of the Cleveland County District Attorney's Office. Over the past six years, the office has organized an Angel Tree project, providing gifts for 40 children in foster care through the Cleveland County DHS Child Welfare Unit. For the past two years the effort has been headed by Assistant District Attorney Golda Long.

"Thanks to the district attorney, court clerk and other courthouse employees, our Angel Tree has had much success," Long said. "Other generous donors, such as the Norman Fire Department and the Cleveland County Bar Association, continue to contribute year after year, giving these children a joyful holiday season by fulfilling each child's Christmas list."

The day before the gifts are collected, Long and other staff members volunteer their time to shop, buying clothing, toys, bicycles and other gifts to help make sure all the children get what they wish for that Christmas.

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