by Mayor Tammy

I love this time of year because there’s a kindness and giving spirit in the air and people are committed to helping others enjoy the holidays. For this reason, I’m excited to tell you about a new addition this year at city hall during the holiday season.  Aside from our large Christmas tree in the main lobby, this year we also have a smaller “flocked” tree – A Salvation Army Angel Tree. Anyone is welcome to choose from a variety of wish tags and purchase a toy for a local child in need. Then deliver the unwrapped to the Salvation Army location in Boise at 4308 W. State Street or to the Parks and Recreation Department at Meridian City Hall by Thursday, December 13. We are more than happy to be able to host an angel tree – encouraging neighbor helping neighbor - and look forward to seeing more families enjoy this Christmas in our community.

Our City employees – much like many other local businesses – are doing what they can to help community members in need. The Meridian Police Department holds a few events over the holidays for local families and youth. From Shop with a Cop, adopting a family in need, and hosting a special Christmas party for area youth – their focus on giving back is truly heartwarming.

The Meridian Fire Department has once again partnered with Randy-B Funk (Meridian’s Youth of the Year) in his efforts to collect NEW underwear, socks and supplies as well as NEW pet bedding, food & toys. Donations will go to The River of Life Men’s Shelter, City Light Women’s and Children Shelter and the Meridian Canine Rescue. For the first time this year, Fire Chief Mark Neimeyer has issued a challenge saying he will personally match up to 100 pairs of socks.

Giving of time to produce memory making events is important too. Our Meridian Parks and Recreation team put together a fantastic Winter Lights Parade and Tree Lighting last Friday and the Christmas fun continues this week.   I am really looking forward to the annual Twilight Christmas Market. We’ve always hosted a market as part of Christmas in Meridian but this one is larger and provides a unique indoor/outdoor experience. It will be a magical evening! The market is on Wednesday, Dec. 5 from 12pm-7pm at Meridian City Hall and will feature a variety of locally hand-crafted gift items, seasonal foods, holiday treats, and more.
 
Other events this week include the Children’s Winterland Festival on Saturday, Dec. 8 from 10am-3pm (get your picture with Santa!), the Downtown Lights Business Decorating Contest happening now, the Little Free Library in the Outdoor Plaza that is full of Christmas books, and we have Santa’s mailbox set up outside Meridian City Hall so children can write letters to Santa and they will receive a reply! Get all of the details on these events and activities at www.meridiancity.org/christmas.
  
Whether it’s giving a toy, necessities or your precious time – I’m grateful to serve a community that cares so much for their fellow neighbors. I’m also blessed to work alongside employees who do so much to give back all year round.

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