Tuesday, November 28, 2017

EDITORIAL >> Ways to help for Christmas

Christmastime is here.

Trees and decorations are popping up, the first of several Christmas parades will be held this weekend, the holiday shopping frenzy has begun, and friends and families are making plans to celebrate together.

Also happening right now are several annual fundraisers and toy collection drives by civic groups and dedicated volunteers who work hard to ensure less fortunate children and families have a Merry Christmas.

The deadline to contribute to the Jacksonville Rotary and Sertoma clubs annual Civics for Kids Christmas drive is Thursday.

Jacksonville school board member Ron McDaniel, who is leading the fundraiser, is asking people to call him to make a donation at 501-590-0183.

The money will be used to provide Christmas presents to Jacksonville elementary students in pre-K through fifth-grade who attend Homer Adkins, Dupree, Tolleson, Taylor, Bayou Meto, Pinewood, Lighthouse Charter School and the Arkansas School for the Deaf.

Organizers of the Cabot School District’s Christmas for Kids toy drive are asking the public to donate new toys or make monetary donations through Dec. 17 to help buy new toys so that local kids can have a happy Christmas.

There are boxes at all Cabot schools to drop off toys now through Dec. 19.

Toys can also be dropped off at Centennial Bank, Fred’s, Dixie CafĂ© and Dollar General in Cabot and Ward.

To sponsor a family or to bring a family in need to the attention of Christmas for Kids, call Terena Woodruff at 501-843-3363, ext. 1029.

Checks can be mailed to Christmas for Kids, care of Bill Holden, 100 Gunsmoke Drive, Austin, Ark. 72007.

Families who need assistance this year with food or toys, are asked to visit goo.gl/PCw8k1. 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 or call Shelley Montoya at 501-286-8912.

The Lonoke County Christmas Coalition is collecting monetary donations to provide toys and food for 98 families in need with about 350 children.

The group asks checks be sent to Lonoke County Christmas Coalition, P.O. Box 534, Lonoke, Ark. 72086 or hand delivered to Debbie Atkins at the Lonoke Banking Center.

To sponsor a child, call Atkins at 501-676-5400 or Beth Wright at 501-676-3106 or Michelle Knox at 501-676-3113, ext. 109.

There are many other ways to help people in need this holiday season. These annual charities have been held for many years. Their organizers should be praised for their volunteer work that’s helped improve the lives of thousands of children and families in the area. They exemplify the spirit of Christmas. Our community is stronger and made more meaningful because of them.

Happy holidays to all the good folks who make this season special for others.