By SETH BUCKNER
Many good organizations that help those in need this time of year can use assistance from Marion County residents. You can volunteer to be a bell ringer, take some food to a needy family, or just be a Good Samaritan in your community. Here are a few of the local opportunities for you to take advantage during this season of giving.
Sock and Blanket Drive for Elderly
F.R.E.S.H., the youth mentoring group in Jefferson, is doing their first annual Sock and Blanket Drive for the elderly. Drop off your donations at Tangle & Tease Hair Company downtown, or with Charmaine Smith at the Junior High School. Please bring your donations by December 15. “We have dedicated our lives to not just talking about helping, but to actually getting something done.” Volunteer April Johnson said, “We have had a great outpouring of donations so far, as we always do, but we are still looking for more help.” For more information call Ms. Johnson at (903) 930-8309.
Toys For Tots
You can drop off toys at the boxes located at most of the banks in Jefferson, the Marion County Courthouse, Tangle & Tease, Norbord, the Transportation & Visitor Center, and the Chamber of Commerce. On December 8 at 9 P.M., Auntie Skinners is hosting a holiday costume party with music from Harvest Rising. The cover for this event is $5 or an unwrapped toy. “We are raffling off a $500 Mastercard gift card and the tickets are $20,” said Amanda Turner. “We also would love to meet you about doing a toy drive at your work.” Contact Amanda Turner at (817) 291-1969, Richard Turner at (903) 926-8180 or Rosanne Bumgarner at (903) 240-0221.
In an interview with Marion County resident Nadean Day, who volunteers regularly with Compassion of Marion Country, she shared these observations about this charity: “Compassion survives solely on the volunteer efforts and donations of local people. Everything that you donate, whether money or food, will be used to feed the hungry in the area. You and your gift could really help someone this Christmas.” Compassion is housed by the East Texas Enrichment Center at 510 East Bonham Street in Jefferson.
Dixie Humane Society
Who doesn’t love a soft kitten or bouncy puppy? Caroline Wedding, founder of the humane society here in Marion County says, “We need people to walk the dogs, play with puppies, and always need help cleaning and feeding. Of course, donations are always desired.” If you would like to volunteer, donate, or adopt a Christmas pet, call (903) 930-5060.
Do you love to read? This Christmas you can help a Marion County child be able to read more this next year and beyond. “We provide a book to every young child in Marion Country to help them start their own library,” said Rotary Club President Brooklynn Bradley-LaFleur. Contact her at (903) 930-5060 for more details on how to get involved. On a personal note, this writer’s children have taken advantage of this program, and they always loved getting books in the mail. Christmas should be a season for giving, not just getting. Maybe you already have a charity or church ministry you are giving to this season. If not, hopefully you will take advantage of one of these. Charles Dickens said it this way, “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”
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