Operation Helping Hand underway for the 2008 holiday season

Since 1989, Operation Helping Hand program organizers have worked to coordinate the charitable work of area civic clubs, churches, businesses and organizations to assist those less fortunate during the holiday season. The program primarily assists families with children, and senior citizens.

Archuleta County residents, who need assistance with Thanksgiving or Christmas meals, may sign up for the program by picking up an application at the receptionist’s desk at the Department of Human Services in Town Hall. Forms should be completed and returned to the same place. Deadline for requesting ingredients for a Thanksgiving meal is Nov. 13. To request assistance for Christmas, forms must be returned by Dec. 6.

So, you’d like to help

The success of Operation Helping Hand through the years has been due to the wonderful outpouring of assistance in many ways from our community, and people outside our community that hold a special place in their hearts for Pagosa Springs.

You, or your organization, can help in a variety of ways.

Food buckets will be placed at both City Market locations on Saturday. Food donations are greatly needed to assist with food baskets for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Any non-perishable food donations are welcome. What to donate? What would your own family enjoy at a traditional Thanksgiving dinner? Stuffing, vegetables, cake mixes, frosting, Jell-O, canned fruit and more. Also, think about foods that seniors and families with children might enjoy. Funds are collected for purchase of perishable items.

If you are a member of an organization, you can assist in a variety of ways. Food drives are always very helpful. Your group could hold a drive and donate the food to Operation Helping Hand.

Leave a message at 731-3735, saying how you might be able to help us. Leave a contact name and phone number and a volunteer will return your call.

You can also help by purchasing a City Market gift certificate and bringing it to The Pagosa Springs SUN or mailing it to Operation Helping Hand, P.O. Box 1083, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147. These certificates will be used to purchase turkeys and other perishable items.

Monetary donations can be made to Operation Helping Hand and deposited to account no. 6240417424 at Wells Fargo Bank or account no. 20014379 at Bank of the San Juans. Donations may also be mailed to Operation Helping Hand, P.O. Box 1083, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

Components of the Operation Helping Hand Program will be outlined in upcoming weeks in The Pagosa Springs SUN.

Civic organizations and church groups have united to avoid duplication of efforts and ensure as many holiday season needs and wishes as possible can be accommodated.

Together, we can make a difference.