Holiday Volunteer Opportunities

By Beacon Staff

Several nonprofit groups – local and national – are looking for extra help right now to support people in need this holiday season.

With strains on the local and national economy, this year will be one of the most demanding on record for local food banks. Need is already up 25 to 35 percent from this time last year, leaving many pantries running short on supplies.

The Violence Free Crisis Line is looking for community members, organizations and businesses willing to “adopt a family” for Christmas that has left a violent home and is staying at the Abbie Shelter. For more information, call the Jill at the Violence Free Crisis Line Office at 261-9085

And this week is National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child, when more than 2,400 locations spanning all 50 states and staffed by thousands of volunteers will be open to collect millions of shoe box gifts for needy children. To find a drop-off site in Kalispell, use the Operation Christmas Child zip code search engine found at www.samaritanspurse.org or call 1-800-353-5949.

Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect over 8 million personalized gift-filled shoe boxes as a way to bring joy to suffering children. After gifts are collected, they will be packed, shipped, and hand-delivered to children in some 100 countries affected by natural disaster, war, terrorism, disease, famine and poverty.

– Find an empty shoe box. (You may wrap it—lid separately—but wrapping is not required.)

– Decide whether your gift will be for a boy or girl and choose an age category: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14

– Fill your shoe box with a variety of gifts: school supplies, toys, hygiene items, clothes, hard candy, and a personal note to the child and family photo

– Enclose $7 or more to help cover shipping and other project costs

– Complete instructions are available on the Samaritan’s Purse Web site.