Help a senior this holiday season through Operation Christmas Boxes

Donations will be accepted through Dec. 11
By Anne Baker | Nov 19, 2013
Artwork by: Kim Perry

Mountain Projects, Inc. is now accepting donations for Operation Christmas Boxes, a project that distributes packages full of necessities to area seniors during the holiday season.

“It gets bigger and bigger every year,” said Jon Parsons, grants manager at Mountain Projects. “And I don’t think things are better than a year ago.”

Christmas boxes contain new items like pop-top canned goods, soup, dish detergent, paper towels, toilet paper, lotions, blankets, gloves, hats, scarves, stamps, light bulbs and more. In order to qualify, those receiving Christmas boxes must be at least 60 years of age and in need.

Mountain Projects, the organization that operates the Senior Resource Center, is encouraging the entire community to become involved in collection efforts. Churches, businesses, other organizations and individuals are all invited to make Christmas special for Haywood County’s seniors by wrapping gift boxes with Christmas paper and filling them with the suggested items. Those who wish to help may also make a cash donation so Mountain Projects can purchase the needed items.

In 2012, Mountain Projects distributed 362 boxes across the county, a figure that Parsons credits to the generosity of Haywood County residents.

“Last year we were able to meet everyone’s needs, and this year we’re hoping to do that again,” he said. “It’s going to depend on the folks who call in and say they would like to help meet a need.”

Parsons said Haywood County schools have been helpful in filling and donating Christmas boxes, and Mountain Projects also receives help from a group of eight to 12 students from Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. The students have been coming to Haywood County to help distribute boxes for more than six years.

“Getting 362 boxes to elderly folks in this sprawling county is quite a feat, and they are a big help,” said Parsons. “We are fortunate that Bethel Retreat Lodge hosts them as Mountain Projects could not do so on its own.”

All boxes and donations should be sent to the Senior Resource Center no later than Wednesday, Dec. 11. When donating cash or checks, specify that funds are for Operation Christmas Boxes; checks should be made out to Mountain Projects, Inc. Receipts will be given.

The Senior Resource Center is located at 81 Elmwood Way in Waynesville, across from Maple Grove Methodist Church. For more information or to leave the name of a senior who should receive a box, call the center at 452-2370. Mountain Projects will fill as many requests as they can, and the boxes will be distributed the week of Dec. 16.

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