COLUMBIA, Mo.—The holiday season can be a stark reminder of what’s missing in the lives of Columbia’s neediest children. One local business is doing its part to make sure that dozens of well-deserving Boone County kids want for nothing, if only for one day.

Sixty children ages 4-8 will experience the generosity of the Christmas spirit beginning at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 17. The local Massage Envy franchise, owned by Pat and Becky Quinn, has coordinated efforts to gather the kids at Toys R Us, 1901 Bernadette Drive, where each child will be given a $50 gift card and paired with a volunteer to help purchase holiday gifts for themselves. After that, the group will travel by bus to Going Bonkers, 3812 Buttonwood Drive, for complimentary lunch and an afternoon of play.

Rock Bridge High School home-school communicator Joe Collier helped Massage Envy identify the Columbia Public School District’s most at-need kids. He also helped manage last year’s event, which benefited 30 kids. An advocate for kids in social need, Collier says one of the amazing things about last year was that so many kids chose to also get gifts for family and friends.

“This is such a genuine experience,” he says. “Last year, it accomplished exactly what it set out to accomplish. It’s all about helping kids in need. It was really pure, just fantastic.”

To set up media coverage or for more information, please contact Lili Vianello at 573-449-8567 or lili@visionworksgroup.com.