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Gifts of the Heart doles out proceeds to charities

Photo courtesy Peggy Andrews
Four local nonprofit group representatives proudly display checks they received from the Gifts of the Heart program’s 2016 proceeds. Pictured are: back row, Rose Cheadle, Barb Elges, Traci Bishop, Leighton Mekeal and Barbara Trask; and, front row, Lisa Scott and Darren Lewis.

By Barb Draper
Special to The PREVIEW

The Gifts of the Heart Committee at Community United Methodist Church (CUMC) was proud to provide checks last week to the four designated local nonprofits it helps support.

Through the design and sale of greeting cards for all major holidays and events throughout the year, this fund raises thousands of dollars annually for local distribution.

Rose Cheadle is in charge of the CUMC Food Pantry. Upwards of 65 bags of food are distributed through this service each week.

Darren Lewis is the director of Pagosa Programs for Youth. He and Traci Bishop, who is in charge of programming at the Ross Aragon Community Center, plan throughout the year for the summer programs they offer to children in Pagosa Springs.

Lisa Scott coordinates the Archuleta County Education Center (ACEC) program that provides after-school tutoring to many students throughout the school year.

Pastor Leighton Mekeal from CUMC is instrumental in overseeing the Community Assistance Fund. This far-reaching program assists many individuals with a wide range of financial needs — from medical to housing to transportation to a variety of other needs that might suddenly arise.

Barb Elges represented the Gifts of the Heart Committee at the checks presentation.

Barbara Trask is the initiator and has been the driving force behind this successful program. She and her husband will be leaving Pagosa Springs as permanent residents, but the Gifts of the Heart Committee is in good hands and will continue to thrive when she is not here. A huge thank you goes out to her for her efforts and inspiration.

Cards will continue to be sold at Ace Hardware on weekends near some major holidays, but you can purchase your cards weekdays from Michelle at CUMC throughout the week.

In order to always have an appropriate card on hand, individuals often purchase a number of them (there is a wide variety) while they are at the church. The cards are locally designed and produced, and all but 50 cents (for quality paper and ink purchase) of your minimum of a $5 donation goes directly to one of the above-mentioned nonprofits. You choose the particular group you wish to support.

This story was posted on March 16, 2017.