Even before the local Share Your Christmas campaign recently announced that its donations were way down this year, Cindy Fleming had already purposed to conduct a spaghetti dinner to raise money for the program at her Whispering Pines Café in Houston.

Share Your Christmas is designed to let people “adopt” needy children in Texas County and provide them with gifts of toys and clothing they wouldn’t otherwise receive.

“We’ve ‘adopted’ the whole program, not just one child,” Fleming said. “However much we get will be donated to the whole program.”

Fleming said she decided to host the fundraiser to address what she felt was a real need.

“I just wanted to do something to help our community,” she said. “I figured this was probably the best way I could do that, because Christmas is for children, and there are a lot of foster kids in that program.

“If you’ve ever been a foster parent, or know about that program, you know they don’t give those kids very much. Foster pay in Missouri is a little over $200 a month per child. You can’t clothe, feed and do everything else for a kid for that.”

The event will take place Friday (Dec. 20) from 3-7 p.m. at Whispering Pines Café, located on U.S. 63 across from Emmett Kelly Park and next to Gas Plus. Cost is $5 per meal, which includes spaghetti, salad and garlic bread (drinks are extra).

Donations of new or good used toys and kids’ clothing will also be accepted. For more information, call Fleming at 417-967-2275.

“There are so many kids in Texas County who have been mistreated and are in the foster system,” Fleming said. “I think these kids deserve a better life. They didn’t choose to come into this world and be treated badly. They don’t deserve it.”

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