ASSOCIATION’S CHRISTMAS PARTY SHOWCASES THE SPIRIT OF GIVING

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METHUEN — The spirit of giving was evident at the annual Methuen Arlington Neighborhood, Inc. Christmas party held at St. Andrew Church.

Approximately 200 youngsters up to the age of 13 received holiday snacks, sat on Santa’s lap, had their picture taken and received a present at the Dec. 8 event, thanks to local groups and businesses.

Linda Soucy, director of M.A.N. Inc., said there is very little the organization has to take out of pocket for the event.

“The Methuen Exchange Club organizes all toy donations with Dave Sheafer of Salisbury Discount House,” Soucy explained.

“Most of the parents can’t afford to take their kids to the mall to spend $30 to $40 on a picture with Santa,” Soucy said. “Some of them don’t even have the transportation to bring their kids to the mall.”

The night before the party, 46 volunteers joined Soucy as they wrapped all the presents for the kids, decorated the hall and the tree.

Kathy Moran-Wallace, head of children’s services at Nevins Memorial Library, attends the party and reads a story for the kids.

M.A.N. Inc. also receives donations from Methuen Cooperative Bank, Malden Mills and Sheehan’s.