Friday, November 9, 2018

Helping Center Needs Help for the Holidays

The holidays approach quickly on the winds of winter, and the Catholic Charities Helping Center in Sallisaw is trying to help with both the holidays and cold weather.

Catholic Charities was organized to serve people in need, and the Sallisaw chapter is at 409 N. Adams. The phone number is 918-775-6111.

Becky Ritchie, director, said the organization is gearing up for both winter weather and the holidays.

She said, “Right now we need space heaters and blankets. We don’t have one space heater in stock.”

With below-freezing temperatures predicted for the weekend, some may go cold and not have a way to get warm. Blankets are also needed throughout the winter months, Ritchie said.

Thanksgiving and Christmas will soon arrive, and the Helping Center is also in need of turkeys and all the holiday feast fixings, Ritchie said. She explained that every year the Helping Center tries to provide about 45 meals for the needy during Thanksgiving, and even more for Christmas. But this year the larder is nearly bare, with a few donated food items from local stores stored in freezers.

Anyone who would like to donate a turkey, a can of cranberry sauce, or any other non-perishable food item may drop it off at the Helping Center between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Christmas season is up next, and the Helping Center will be trying to fulfill the gift wishes of at least 175 children nominated for the program by the Sequoyah County Department of Human Services. The names will be displayed on Angel Trees set up at local businesses and dispersed through churches and other organizations. 

In addition to that gift-giving program, the Helping Center also offers a free gift-shopping experience to the needy from Dec. 4 through 20. Clients are allowed to shop at the gift store, where everything is free, and choose one gift for every member of their family.

“We’ve even got a grandmother gift program,” Ritchie said. “Our volunteer, Jalene Slade, has got a lot of new stuff for Christmas gifts.”

Anyone who would like to apply for the program should call the Helping Center at 918-775-6111, Ritchie said.

And the Helping Center can also use more volunteers she said, who may join in the gift giving by giving their time to those in need.

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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