Tuesday, December 13, 2016

EDITORIAL >> Giving makes big difference

Christmas is less than two weeks away. Many people are wrapping up their holiday shopping and preparing to celebrate with family and friends, but it’s a good time to remember the less fortunate and contribute to noteworthy collection drives that make sure people in need have a merry Christmas.

Cabot Christmas for Kids will stop collecting toys on Saturday. Every year it gives new toys to children who live in the Cabot School District.

People are asked to donate new toys or make monetary donations to help buy new toys.

There are boxes at all Cabot public schools to drop off toys. Toys can also be dropped off at Centennial Bank, Fred’s, Dixie CafĂ©, and Dollar General in Cabot and Ward.

Checks can be mailed to Christmas for Kids, c/o Bill Holden, 100 Gunsmoke Drive, Austin, Ark. 72007.

Checks and toys may also be delivered to the Cabot Schools Warehouse, 310 G.P. Murrell Drive in Cabot in the Industrial Park off Hwy. 367 toward Austin.

To sponsor a family, call Terena Woodruff at 501-843-3363, ext. 1029. Families who need assistance this year with food or toys, please go to goo.gl/SvwcGF. Recipients must live in the Cabot School District area to be eligible.

To arrange for donated toys to be picked up, call Bill Holden or Rita Stewart at 501-743-3560. Toys may also be brought to any elementary school in the Cabot Public School District today through Dec. 16 or leave a message for Shelley Montoya at 501-286-8912.

It’s also a good time to make a donation to an annual collection drive for elderly patients living in the Community Living Center units at the Fort Roots VA Hospital in North Little Rock.

The annual collection drive is organized by the Jacksonville Museum of Military History and the Major Jacob Gray Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The deadline to donate is Dec. 30.

Here’s the list of items that are needed:

Clothing: No used clothing and no dress shoes. Dire need – tennis shoes, sizes 9-14; long and short sleeve, white and colored, pocketed and no pocket T-shirts – sizes L-XXXL; sweatpants and shirts – sizes M, L, greater need of XL, 2X, 3X dark colors; underwear for men and women, M, L, XL, XXL; and non-slip shower flip flops and house shoes for men sizes 11-14 and for women sizes 5-10.

Personal care items: No used items. Large containers of shampoo and 3-in-1 body wash for men and women, deodorant for men and women, hair oil and spray, toothbrushes and holders, toothpaste, denture adhesive, soap dishes and single-edge razors.

Miscellaneous: Liquid laundry soap, high-efficiency detergent, craft items for recreational therapy for men and women such as models, leather and needlecrafts, magnifying glasses, pocket calculators, sugar-free candy, large-print puzzle books, gift cards, lap and full-length Americana service blankets, and reading glasses – 1.00-2.50.

Donated supplies should be delivered to the museum at 100 Veterans Circle. Monetary donations are also needed. Checks can be made out to CVAHS Voluntary Services and designate Community Living Center Donation in the memo line.

Two Jacksonville churches are holding Christmas dinners to ensure no one is alone or hungry for the holidays.

Jacksonville First United Methodist Church will hold a free Christmas meal for the community and church members at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21 in its Family Life Center. The meal is part of its Mission 5000 program, which gives free meals at 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays and 11:30 a.m. Saturdays.

Word of Life Worship Center in Jacksonville will hold a free community Christmas dinner from noon until 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 24.

The church is at 607 N. First St., Suite 4 inside Stonewall Square Shopping Center. The menu includes chicken and dressing, green beans, corn, rolls, dessert and tea, and small bags of fruits and door prizes will be given.

People may eat at the church or carry out their meals. Delivery will be available for elderly residents in Jacksonville by calling 501-708-5843.

And to make the holiday spirit last all year, Jacksonville-native and NFL defensive tackle Clinton McDonald, who plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is seeking sponsors for his annual springtime events in Jacksonville—a family festival and a youth football and cheerleading camp.

The McDonald and Associates Collective Collaboration-Light Into Darkness nonprofit group, which he established soon after winning the Super Bowl in 2014 with the Seattle Seahawks, will hold the fifth annual Iron Sharpens Iron Youth Football and Cheer Camp for kids 7 to 17 years olds on April 7-8. It will also host the third annual Family and Friends Fun Day the same weekend.

Current NFL and college players, trainers and coaches teach young people at the camp football skills in a safe environment that aims to develop discipline, character and personal growth with emphasis on goal setting, hard work, sportsmanship and commitment in order to achieve success.

Donations and sponsorships are needed to keep the events inexpensive. For more information or to make a pledge, call Dominique McGrudder at 501-773-091, visit www.maccllid.org and https://vimeo.com/158576790.

Charity is the essence of the holiday season. These are just a few ways to make an impact this Christmas. We thank you in advance.