Nearly 400 children and more than 200 families will enjoy some semblance of holiday cheer this season thanks to the efforts and generosity of a giving community.

Through the efforts of the Benson Junior Women’s Club, those of the  Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program, along with Helping Hands at Cochise Terrace, 218 families and 350 boys and girls will benefit from the various drives.

The Benson Juniors have spearheaded their holiday drives in the community for more than 40 years. Their work, with assistance from the Marine Corps League Detachment, who solicited toy donations at Walmart on select weekends in November and December, resulted in another successful endeavor.

“This year we are helping 82 families in the community and providing toys for 120 children,” explained Kirsten Smith, president of the local Benson Juniors.

On Wednesday, [Dec. 20] club members, with assistance from groups from Benson High School, will hold a gift-wrapping session for about two hours at Community Presbyterian Church, 590 S. Huachuca St., beginning at 3:30 p.m. The disbursement party, also at the church, will be held Friday from noon to 3 p.m., and will feature the seasonal Guest of Honor.

“We will have Santa to visit with the kids, along with treats for the families when they come to pick up their donation,” said Smith.

The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree tags and donations, according to local Chair Dottie Kreps, collected toys, clothing and essentials for 76 families, including 166 children.

“The community has been great, we have a very generous and great community,” said Kreps, noting this year’s collection effort resulted in seven, “so far” bicycle donations.

Recipients can get their gifts Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Benson Community Center, 705 W. Union St.

The residents who make up the Helping Hands at Cochise Terrace RV Resort, continue to leave their impact on the community.

The annual Christmas dinner for Foster Families was held on Tuesday, [Dec. 12] with 60 adults and 64 children, the most so far, noted Lynne Flower of Helping Hands at Cochise Terrace.

Helping Hands holds a series fundraisers to benefit area foster children and families.