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Nearly $28,000 was raised before Christmas to help needy families in and around Ramstein Air Base in Germany this holiday season.

Ramstein Family Support Center’s Angel Tree Program helped 373 families this year, according to Air Force spokeswoman Erin Zagursky.

The program solicits donations from the community in the form of gift certificates instead of actual presents. Donation collection points, or trees, were set up at various locations on Ramstein, Vogelweh and Sembach Annex. The program helped a total of 689 children this holiday season.

The center sponsored the event with the help of other local commands and Ramstein Girl Scouts Troop C84. The center established the Angel Tree Program in 2000 to help families in the Kaiserslautern military community during the holiday season.

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