Earth Angels

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Several Ogle County residents are earning their angel wings. These earth angels are working to making spirits bright this holiday season.

Linda Straith knows all to well what it's like to struggle through Christmas. While undergoing treatment for Hepatitis C she lost her house. On Christmas day it will be six months since Linda completed her treatment. She now wants to give back to the community who helped her along the way.

“I made a promise if someway, somehow I made it to see my seven grandchildren, I'd keep a promise to help the community, so that's why I started this,” says Linda.

Linda's started a program called Earth Angels that reaches out to families who are unable to receive assistance. So far she has 37 children signed up to receive presents. Linda and a group of volunteers will be delivering the gifts in person the week of Christmas.

“It's going to really hit home, hit my heart. There was a lot of people who helped me and I want to put a smile and help into their life too,” said Linda.

Heidi Peake and her three children have never volunteered around Christmas time before but say Linda's programs inspired them to reach out.

“There are a lot of families in need and obviously anything we can do to help is the spirit of Christmas,” says Peake.

Local merchants are also helping out. Merlins in Oregon is one of 10 drop-off sites.

“It's wonderful, everyone here is so giving and so kind," said Martin.

So this holiday season you might see a few more angels walking around making sure no child is without Christmas.

“What was the first present at Christmas? It was a child and that's what Christmas is all about."

If you live in Ogle County and know a family who could use an "earth angel," you can call Linda at 291-7757 or visit their website at, then click on the Earth Angels link.