With Christmas right around the proverbial corner the holiday giving season is well under way, and area residents are asked to open their hearts and wallets to help those in need.

At Texas Star Bank, the Angel Tree stands tall, a symbol of hope and generosity for area children. Tiffany Terry talked about the Angel tree project, a tradition for many years. While last year wishes came true for156 children, "this year we need angels for 226 children, but the response by area residents has been so overwhelming and early this week we had only about 60 angels left."

Another Angel tree stood just as stately at Independent Bank. "This is the thirteenth year for the Angel tree," said Mariah Rexrode. And Adriane Caraway added that they started with 40 angels on the tree and they were going fast.

The Spirit of Christmas Food Drive, which came to Anna when Brookshire’s opened in 2008, and has become an annual tradition, is in full swing. Assistant Store Manager Marcus Chaney explained that customers can purchase bags already filled with various food items or donate money at the check-out counters. The food drive will continue right up to Christmas, and as in previous years the food and donated money will go to the Anna Food Bank.

Approximately 300 bags and 160 boxes of food were collected in 2012, and with the cash donations it all totaled $10,000.

Anna’s House, a mission in Anna, partnering with the Samaritan Inn, is collecting diapers, cold and flu medications and disinfectant wipes. Anna’s House is located at the corner of 2nd Street and Interurban. For more information call Fawnda at 972-924-5433.

The opportunity to give is there for all area residents. The need is evident and all that is needed now are caring hearts and open wallets.