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This holiday, give a ‘Gift of the Heart’

All around us suggestions and reminders of holiday giving are beginning to appear.

Among these is a win-win opportunity to give a gift to a friend or family member that reaches neighbors in need as well.

This gift, a “Gift of the Heart”, might be a perfect match for your holiday gift giving.

“Gifts of the Heart” is one way Community United Methodist Church has found to help fund three charitable endeavors — The Community Assistance Fund, the Food Pantry, and Shiprock Home for Women and Children in New Mexico.

Certificates are available for purchase by everyone in the community. They are available weekdays between 9 a.m. and 4: p.m. (Fridays from 9 to noon) and on Sunday mornings at Community United Methodist Church at 434 Lewis St. (264-5508).

Here is how the program works.

First, you decide to break from your old pattern of purchasing traditional, tangible gifts, and replace some of the gifts you normally give with a “Gift of the Heart.” Many individuals on our Holiday giving lists do not need or necessarily want another plate of cookies, jar of jelly, bottle of lotion, or the latest “gadget.”

When you arrive at the church you will find a choice of three beautiful cards with accompanying envelopes. For a minimum donation of only $5 you can select a card to send to a recipient informing that person about the contribution you have made in his or her name.

Through the end of October this year the Community Assistance Fund was able to assist many individuals or families in a variety of ways, including prescription assistance, eyeglass repair, utility payments, gasoline vouchers, meals, counseling services, emergency car repairs, assistance with moving expenses, and housing assistance.

During this same period the Food Pantry distributed 1,175 food boxes. If you choose to direct your giving to the Food Pantry you can see how important your contribution will be. You can help individuals who might otherwise be hungry.

Shiprock Home for Women and Children provides shelter safety, crisis intervention, education, transportation and advocacy to women and their children who are victims of domestic violence. The facility serves individuals from all races and ethnicities, but historically Native Americans receive a majority of the services. The service area of this facility reaches across the Four Corners area of New Mexico, Utah, Arizona and Colorado. Your gift can provide clothing, shampoo, hygiene needs, blankets, school supplies and support for program costs, food, and shelter.

The request for services and assistance from all three of these programs increase at this time of year and will continue to do so throughout the upcoming winter months. With your certificate/card purchases you will have the satisfaction of knowing not only that you have honored people close to you with your gift, but also that you have helped make a difference in someone’s life — thus the name of the program, “Gifts of the Heart.”