Thursday, December 1, 2016

Donations Needed for Christmas Gifts, Food Baskets

Christmas is a time of giving and wonder for children.

Or it could be a time of disappointment if that magical man in a furry red suit doesn’t show up on schedule, with gifts.

That’s where the Catholic Charities in Sallisaw, the Sallisaw Pastors’ Fellowship, churches and organizations throughout the county step in with their Angel Tree project.

MaryLynn Lufkin, Catholic Charities director, said Sallisaw alone has about 350 children in need of gifts at Christmas. About 40 of their names are on the Angel Tree at Armstrong Bank in Sallisaw.

She said the need is so great in the county that churches from Webbers Falls and Gore to Roland, where KiBois Community Action Foundation helps, have taken on the task of providing those children with gifts.

“Each town has their own representative,” Lufkin said. “For Sallisaw and Gans Armstrong Bank took a block of angels and has them on an Angel Tree at the bank where the public can come in and pick one out.”

Those who wish to help an angel should have the gifts wrapped, with the angel attached, to be returned on Dec. 20 to the Sequoyah County Fairgrounds in Sallisaw. The gifts should be returned between 9 and 11 a.m. for distribution with the holiday food baskets that are also distributed for Christmas.

Donors in other towns should check with their church to see which is helping with the Angel Tree project, Lufkin said. In Sallisaw, the pastors’ fellowship helps fill angels’ wishes if the donations fall short.

New toys may also be delivered directly to Catholic Charities at 409 N. Adams in Sallisaw.

“We always run out of toys,” Lufkin said.

She said donations of non-perishable food items are also needed to go into the Christmas food baskets with the turkeys that The Mix 105.1  is collecting through their Turkey Drop project. About 200 food baskets are given out each year, and canned and boxed foods, from cranberry sauce to cake mixes are also needed for those food baskets. Those items may also be dropped off at Catholic Charities.

Lufkin has one more request.

“Did you ever get a Christmas gift you know you will never use, and it’s laying in the back of a closet somewhere?” she asked. “We can re-gift that for you.”

During this time of gifting, adults should not be forgotten, she said. Catholic Charities also has a Christmas gift table where those who visit may pick out one gift for every member of the household.

Lufkin recalled, “We had one little man come in one day, and he said he had nothing to give his wife. He found a little candle for her. That candle brought tears to the guy’s eyes. Nothing is too small.”

Lufkin said the items to be re-gifted should be new and never used. All new items that come into Catholic Charities are stored for the Christmas season.

For more information on any of Catholic Charities holiday plans, call 918-775-6111.

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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