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Salvation Army coordinates Christmas food box project

Local Salvation Army volunteers are coordinating the efforts of local civic and youth organizations and churches to bring Christmas dinners and gifts to many community residents this year.

The project, “Bring Christmas Back to the Table,” is a community effort that is planned to help bring families together on Christmas for a festive and meaningful meal. This effort is taking the place of some of the services that were previously offered by Operation Helping Hand.

The food items in each Christmas box will include a turkey with stuffing, potatoes and yams, green beans, cranberry sauce, brownies and Christmas candy. An age appropriate, family-oriented board game will also be purchased, wrapped, and placed in each box.

There are several ways everyone in the community can help make these boxes available. Perhaps the most convenient way is to pick up a list of Christmas box foods at City Market and purchase some extra items while you are shopping for your own Christmas dinners. A large bin will be placed near the entrance to the store for your donated goods. A similar bin is located at Our Savior Lutheran Church, at Meadows Drive and U.S. 160.

In addition to the food items, monetary donations are always welcome. Checks can be sent to the Salvation Army at P.O. Box 1567, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147, with the designation “Christmas Boxes.”

This is a project that can involve your family and any organizations you belong to. Recently, a group of young ladies from Girl Scout Troop 3459 was spotted wheeling their carts of turkeys through the aisles at City Market. These enterprising girls raised their own money to purchase the turkeys, and held a food drive as well.

Word is out that certain groups are suggesting that members bring food items from the Christmas Box list to holiday get-togethers as “admission tickets.”

Pagosa Springs Rotary Club is purchasing and collecting new games that can be played by families after their meals have been enjoyed. Suggested games include, but are not limited to, Dominoes, Pictionary, Yahtzee, Life, Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, Very Hungry Caterpillar, Operation, and Chinese Checkers. If you would like to help with the purchase of games, the drop-off points for the games are both branches of Citizens Bank and Jann C. Pitcher Real Estate Office on Put Hill. Local 4-H youth have volunteered to wrap and label all the games so they can be distributed to the appropriate families.

Once all these items have been gathered at the Extension Building, volunteers for distribution are also needed and welcomed.

To find out how you can be a part of the distribution crew, contact Julie Church at 264-4465.