The El Dorado Springs Christmas Basket committee is pleased to announce that the distribution date for food baskets and gifts will be Dec. 17, at the First Baptist Church on Main Street.  Recipients should plan to pick up the gifts and food on Saturday, Dec. 17, from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and should bring the confirmation letter they will receive in the mail. Baskets not picked up by that time may be donated to families on the waiting list.

Application forms are currently available at the Health Dept in the Southside Medical  Mall  and from the Dept of Social Services in Stockton.  Applications must be completed and returned to the Health Dept or mailed to DSS, PO Box 200, Stockton, 65785 to be received before noon on Nov. 21. Participants are encouraged to return applications as soon as possible as only the first 200 eligible families will be guaranteed   a food basket. Gifts are provided to eligible children ages infant to 16. The committee depends on the generosity of the community to make it possible to provide this assistance.

Recipients must be low income and live in the El Dorado Springs school district but do not have to have children in the family.  Senior citizens are encouraged to apply.

Please remember that after several years of dedicated service to this committee, Kent and Doris Fortney have retired and should not be called with questions. We are pleased to have Amy Castor as the new committee chairman. The Christmas Basket Committee phone number is 296-4216. Please leave a message and your call will be returned as soon as possible.

Donations from businesses, civic groups and individuals, and the support of volunteers is crucial to the success of the program. Something new this year is that donations of non-perishable foods and children’s gifts should be taken to the Youth Center (old Liston school) on N. Main St. during Nov. 21-23 and Nov. 28-30 from noon to 5:00 p.m. instead of bringing those items to the church in December. The committee will not place donation barrels in businesses this year. Organizations, churches and individuals are encouraged to take advantage of these dates. It really helps the committee meet the needs of families when we have donations ahead of time.

Gifts such as warm scarves and gloves along with the popular coloring books with colored pencils are nice for older students. Gifts for students age 11 to 14 are especially needed.

Non-perishable food items are needed to make the holidays a little brighter  for your friends and neighbors. When you are grocery shopping, buy one for your family and one to donate. Non perishable food items might include; cereal, fruit juice, vegetable juice, pancake mix, spaghetti sauce and pasta, dry beans, canned light fruit, canned vegetables, canned tuna, canned soups, crackers, rice, cake mixes, cranberries, stuffing mix, canned pumpkin, evaporated milk and oatmeal.  Cash donations are used to purchase perishable items like ham, potatoes, eggs, cheese, milk, fresh fruit and to supplement food and gift items not provided. Cash donations may be sent to the committee treasurer, Steve Wiseman, at 884 S. 275 Rd., El Dorado Springs, 64744.

Scoop up your Christmas spirit and come lend a hand. Wrappers will be needed at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Dec.14  at the church. We won’t have students from the Christian School to help wrap this year since they will be helping sort, count and move food; so we are depending on those volunteers who have helped in the past to recruit a friend and join us. Please bring your own scissors.

On Friday, Dec.16., beginning at 9 a.m. food will be boxed and volunteers again will be appreciated.  We will have shopping carts to use so the lifting is minimal. There will be candy sacks to fill and last minute set up for the distribution on Saturday.  Community support is always so important to the success of this project. Your gift of time or food or toys or just giving a neighbor a ride on Saturday to pick up their basket is really appreciated.

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