Heroes with Hope of Southern Oklahoma has a new way for the community to get involved with its mission of empowering and meeting the needs of local children this holiday season.

Located inside Walmart and beside the SmartStyle salon, the Heroes with Hope Tree is decorated with several colorful tags listing items that are in high demand for local children.

Similar to the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree, community members can pick a tag off the tree, purchase the item, and then drop it off at the salon, any American Nation Bank location or the Heroes with Hope office, located at 16 E St. NW.

The items will then be given out to children in the community who are in need, said Heroes with Hope Executive Director Melissa Woolly.

“We actually kind of have three or four different areas that we’re collecting for, our Shop with Cops kids, our school kids and then kids that we already have requests for that we’re just looking to get the items for,” Woolly said.

Some items on the tree, like coats, are for a particular child and other items, like shampoo, conditioner and pony tail holders, will be distributed to children selected for the Shop with Cops program and in local schools, Woolly said.

“The counselors and the people that we work with directly with the school, they have kids that they kind of have in mind that they provide these items for,” Woolly said. “So we like to be sure and have them on hand.”

Woolly said the Heroes with Hope organization regularly works to meet these children’s needs and was looking for new ways to let the community get involved this year.

“We always have people asking us how to help and we just kind of brainstormed and thought ‘This can be a way that our community can help’,” Woolly said. “They’re always asking and we’re giving them the opportunity to actually get to go and make that purchase and pass it on.”

The tree will be up until Christmas, however, if individuals would rather skip the shopping spree and make a monetary donation they can do that as well. To make a donation call 580-319-8571 or email heroeswithhope@outlook.com.

“We’ll also take monetary donations as well, because our Shop with Cops program is more than just taking kids shopping, this is something we do all year,” Woolly said.