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Oklahoma City-area teens help homeless youths have brighter holiday

Members of the Oklahoma National Guard Teen Panel volunteered at Positive Tomorrows to help homeless youths have a brighter holiday.
BY MAJ. GEOFF LEGLER Published: December 29, 2012

Importance of giving

Positive Tomorrow's extracurricular activities coordinator Teri Barkus said the Merry Market teaches the kids the importance of giving to others.

“Most of our children come from homeless shelters, or they're living in hotels, so they don't always have the means to go out and purchase a gift,” Barkus said. “This teaches our students the importance of being able to give something back.

Durham said the Positive Tomorrows students are generous.

“They have basically nothing, but they are some of the most generous children that I have ever met. To give them the opportunity to come in and pick out a present for mom and dad or a loved one is going to be really special for them.”

Christian Keenan, president of the Oklahoma National Guard Teen Panel, said Positive Tomorrows was the perfect way to start the panel's charity drive.

“It's really important because these kids are all homeless, and these may be the only Christmas presents they will get,” Keenan said. “We thought this was an important and worthwhile charity to give to this month.”

Pam Reeds, children and youth program coordinator for the Oklahoma National Guard Family Program Office, said the Oklahoma National Guard has a history of community involvement. “Our kids are so excited to have the opportunity to bring some joy to the lives of the Positive Tomorrows families.”

Maj. Geoff Legler is with the Oklahoma National Guard's Office of Public Affairs.