In Times of Need, Northeast Pennsylvania comes to the aid of its own. In our regular column, Patrice Wilding provides a platform for area residents facing a variety of obstacles to create awareness and connect them with much-needed help.

Who/what/why: For those looking to spread some Christmas cheer to the less fortunate, Boscov’s offers to play Santa by connecting generous shoppers with people in need. As it has for more than 25 years, the Scranton store sponsors a pair of Angel Trees, which are covered in tags representing local residents asking for a variety of items. One tree is for the residents of Gino J. Merli Veterans’ Center in Scranton, who often ask for items such as sweats, chocolate, writing paper and stamps, and gift cards for other necessities. The other tree helps disadvantaged families in Lackawanna County served by Friends of the Poor, many of whom need assistance with providing bountiful Christmases for their children.

Where: Angel Trees are located on the second floor of Boscov’s in the Marketplace at Steamtown, 300 Lackawanna Ave., Scranton.

When: Tags can be selected during mall business hours. Gifts can be dropped off at the courtesy desk on the second floor for staff to gift-wrap up until Friday, Dec. 20.

In her own words: “The trees — no matter who they benefit — are a heartwarming experience. When I see what the community does for our trees, it shows me and all of my coworkers just how caring our community is, and just how wonderful it is to be where we are: Northeast Pennsylvania.” — Irene Kelly, regional manager of Boscov’s Public Relations



The turnout was overwhelming at the pasta dinner to benefit Scranton resident William Patrick “Sonny” Ogden, 85, over the weekend. His son, Jeff, said the family is touched by the community’s support. Donations for medical and other expenses related to Ogden’s ongoing treatment of stage IV liposarcoma can still be sent payable to William Ogden at 614 Glenn St., Scranton, PA 18509,