Christmas will be all the brighter in downtown Iola and Humboldt, courtesy of Modern Woodmen of America.
Josh Oberley, an agent for the fraternal life insurance and financial services organization, is donating more than 13 cases of Christmas lights to Humanity House’s decorating endeavors.
The 165 boxes equate to 49,500 lights, a fact not lost on Oberley after he did some quick calculations.
“We can’t be this close to 50,000 lights and not actually have 50,000,” he said, adding he’ll make one more trip to round up.
Humanity House is using the lights for a series of ambitious projects.
In addition to decorating the downtown squares in Iola and Humboldt, Humanity House will once again host Santa’s Toy Shop. A flooded basement earlier this year destroyed the decorations and toys for the toy shop, leaving organizers back at square one.
The Toy Shop has received several toys and decorations by random donors this fall.
Now with the lights in hand, Tracy Keagle and others will set their sights on collecting toys.
They’re hoping folks with new or gently used toys will be willing to donate to the cause.
The toys should not be wrapped.
Donations can be taken to the toy shop at 7 E. Madison Ave. (the old Party Girls store.)
THE DECORATION efforts hit high gear this week, along with Humanity House’s chili and cinnamon roll fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at the New Community Building at Riverside Park.
Help is sought for both endeavors.
Keagle will be in Humboldt starting Tuesday, and hopes to have the square done by Wednesday.
The work will shift to downtown Iola Thursday.
Meanwhile, Humanity House also is accepting ingredients for the chili, so it can be prepared Wednesday evening.
Anybody willing to donate cinnamon rolls also would be much appreciated, Keagle said.
The cinnamon rolls should be taken to the Community Building at about 8 a.m. Thursday.
Humanity House will deliver chili to local businesses willing to place orders.
To order, donate or make other inquiries, call (620) 380-6664.
PHOTO: Josh Oberley and daughter Hali show the nearly 50,000 lights Modern Woodmen of America is donating to Humanity House for Christmas. REGISTER/RICHARD LUKEN