Heather Cox, activities coordinator for the Harker Heights Parks and Recreation Department, is all about helping the less fortunate in her community.

After learning about the Killeen Independent School District’s Homeless Awareness and Response Program, she began an annual coat drive.

Following the coat drive, Cox decided she wanted to do more and asked HARP officials about the students’ needs during the holiday season.

To help children who would otherwise go without during the holidays, Cox created the Giving Tree in 2011.

This year, citizens adopted and purchased presents for 16 students.

“The Harker Heights Giving Tree has adopted 16 students out of nearly 1,000 Homeless Awareness and Response Program students in the Killeen Independent School District,” Cox said.

Churches and other organizations have also adopted students, along with Heights residents, by purchasing items that each student wrote on a tag hung on the Christmas tree in the Activities Center.

Some of the more popular items requested were monster trucks, Legos, hoodies, stuffed animals, Monopoly games and fingernail polish.

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