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A Helping Hand in time of need

Operation Helping Hand will join with the Rotary Club to distribute winter clothing at the fairgrounds Extension Building from 3-5 p.m. tomorrow.

For Archuleta County’s less fortunate citizens, more help is on the way.

According to Operation Helping Hand organizers, more than 180 families have registered for assistance from the program thus far. Local seniors and families with children can sign up for assistance at the Department of Human Services in Town Hall. The deadline to request assistance for Christmas food, toys and clothing is Thursday, Dec. 3, at 4 p.m. Please note: Operation Helping Hand is a program run by community volunteers and is not run by the Archuleta County Department of Human Services.

This is the 20th year for this organization to assist local seniors and families with children with holiday needs including food, clothing and toys. Those in the Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County community who wish to help those less fortunate this season may do so in several ways.

Project Empty Stocking

Volunteers continue to post requested items on paper stockings at both City Markets. These requests range from socks and underwear to household items such as blankets and cookware, to toys. To fill one of these requests, remove a stocking from the board at City Market, then purchase and wrap your gift, attaching the stocking to your package so the gift will be delivered to the correct individual or family. Take your gift to one of the drop-off locations listed on the back of the paper stocking by Tuesday, Dec. 15.

If you don’t have time to shop, but would like to assist in purchasing toys, clothing and household items, monetary donations can be made to Operation Helping Hand and deposited to account no. 6240417424 at Wells Fargo Bank or account no. 20014379 at Bank of the San Juans. Donations may also be mailed to Operation Helping Hand, P.O. Box 1083, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

Something Old,

Something New

Program organizers who help coordinate the charitable work of area civic clubs, churches, businesses and organizations, say they are getting numerous requests for used furniture, blankets, pots and pans, dishes, silverware and electric blankets. These items, which organizers say can be “used, but still usable,” should be brought to one of the following drop-off locations: Jann Pitcher Real Estate, located on Put Hill, Bank of the San Juans on Hot Springs Boulevard or either 1st Southwest Bank locations by Tuesday, Dec. 15.

Toy Outreach

This branch of Operation Helping Hand provides an opportunity for children to get involved in the program.

Parents can help their children select for donation a toy or toys they no longer use, but which are still in good condition. Used bikes, PlayStations, boom boxes and DVD players are especially high on the wish lists of many young people. These items should be brought to one of the above drop-off locations by Tuesday, Dec. 15.

Snowflake Program

Volunteers at Community United Methodist Church are participating by assisting families with their holiday needs in cooperation with Operation Helping Hand.

Christmas Food Boxes

Food donations are accepted at both City Market locations. Look for donation containers near the entrances of the stores. Nonperishable food items are gratefully accepted to use in preparation of food boxes. Choose and donate foods that your own family would enjoy at the holiday season. We suggest stuffing, gravy, canned vegetables and fruit or gelatin.

To assist in purchasing perishable items, monetary donations can be made to Operation Helping Hand and deposited to account no. 6240417424 at Wells Fargo Bank or account no. 20014379 at Bank of the San Juans. Donations may also be mailed to Operation Helping Hand, P.O. Box 1083, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

Or, you can purchase a City Market gift card and mail to Operation Helping Hand at P.O. Box 1083, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147, or drop off to the front desk at The Pagosa Springs SUN.

Questions about Operation Helping Hand may be directed to the message line, 731-3735. A volunteer will return your call.

Civic organizations and church groups have united to avoid duplication of efforts and ensure as many holiday season needs and wishes as possible can be accommodated.

Together we can make a difference in our community.