Gifts pour in, replace stolen ones

After thieves broke into a storage shed twice over Thanksgiving weekend and stole more than a dozen presents, Parallax Program officials fretted that the children of its clients undergoing treatment would not get any gifts this Christmas.

Those fears proved unfounded.

Community support for the children of Parallax clients — much of it from those who have gone through recovery programs — has been so strong it astounded even the most optimistic staff members.

"It's just totally unbelievable," said Kim Rogers, who manages the Recovery Coffee Shop at Parallax's outpatient clinic at 830 S. Hillside. "It's mind-boggling."

So many gifts poured in that Parallax's alumni activities director, Byron Baker, stopped counting once it reached the hundreds.

The gifts were scheduled to be handed out at a party Friday night at the Parallax outpatient clinic. Children of clients enrolled at other treatment centers around Wichita, such as Miracles Inc. and the Women's Recovery Center, were invited to the gathering and were to be given gifts as well.

"We wanted to get those to kids that are children of recovering adults, and make sure they didn't fall through the cracks," Baker said.

In past years, he said, some gifts have been taken to the Wichita Children's Home — and that may work out again this year, too.

"I don't think there is a word that explains our gratitude," Rogers said. "This is going to be a wonderful Christmas after all for these kids."