Spreading Christmas cheer to needy children and families

Thursday, I received a call from a frantic parent who had been referred to the Tots for Tots program. She said they only cover children up to age 14. Of course I thought she must have misunderstood the Ron Wood Family Resource Center, which is helping process applications for the program, so I called. To my surprise, that is the policy.

I am sure it is because they want to ensure that little children have a wonderful Christmas. But I also think we have some teenagers who would enjoy a sweat jacket, a sleeping bag, a CD player, a football or something.

So I went on a search. Douglas County has Project Santa helps teenagers, but locally we did not have a program ... until now.

Carson High School student Candice Mondragon volunteered in November to put together a community project for her senior project. When I told her there were no gift programs for older teens, she said, "I would love to do that for teenagers in town who will not receive any presents for Christmas. I am 18 and still want something under the tree."

If you want to help the Toys For Teens program, get behind this young lady who wants to make a big difference in a short period. Purchase teenage-appropriate toys, clothing or gift certificates to the movies, fast-food restaurants or haircuts and drop them off at two locations.

When the owners of Vital Signs heard about the project, they said they would be glad to be a drop-off area. Hannah immediately got on the telephone to start getting donated items for teens.

Candice's employer, KBCA, put up $250, and will be a designated drop-off area. Once Candice gets the donations, she will run them over to the school counselors and nurses to make sure each teenager gets something special for Christmas. Thanks, Candice, great senior project!

Toys For Teens

WHERE: Drop donations off at Vital Signs, 1400 S. Carson St.; or KBCA, 3860 S. Richards Blvd. She is looking for another north area drop-off area.

WHEN: Through Dec. 22

CONTACT: Candice Mondragon at KBCA from noon-5 p.m., 885-8847, ext. 138

On the subject of senior projects, my son, Nick Bacon, wanted to do a clothing drive for students in need. The shelter managers at Volunteers of America said they need pajamas for children who come to the shelter in whatever they are wearing when they are taken from their homes.

So Nick decided to do a pajama drive for the children's shelter. You can help now until the end of February by watching those after-Christmas sales and selecting pajamas in sizes for ages 3-17.

I received another e-mail on Volunteers of America Children's Shelter this week from Diane Pepka. She is helping to organize a party to help the 12 children who will be spending Christmas in the shelter, far from their families.

To help these children aged 18 months to 15 years, look below for information to donate to or adopt a child.

Volunteers of America Children's Shelter Christmas party

WHERE: The address is confidential so please call Diane for information about drop-offs

WHEN: Through Dec. 20

CONTACT: Diane Pepka at 841-9623. To purchase pajamas for Nick's senior project, call 690-1303.

As a former a Girl Scout, I'm always inclined to help troops - and this event is a great cause for Dayton Troop 1036, led by Renee Wilkins.

This junior group took on the challenge of getting its Bronze Award this year, which means girls need to earn community-service hours by helping their neighbors or the world.

Troop 1036 has chosen to make Christmas special for a local family. However, they are short on clothing, toys and a holiday meal.

The family of five has parents, two little boys and a little girl.

WHAT: Girl Scout Troop 1036's family Christmas drive


CONTACT: Renee Wilkins at 629-9501 or at happynblest@sbcglobal.net.

Lisa Lee needs the town's help from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday.

The Governor's Mansion was not available this year for the annual Advocates to End Domestic Violence food drive so they are moving it to the Albertsons at the north end of town.

You can still drive up, and the volunteers will take your food donations. Or, better yet, go to Albertsons, purchase a bunch of food, and donate on the spot.

It's always a great event, so don't forget it has moved. It keeps the food closet stocked for the whole year for women and children in crisis.

Advocates to End Domestic

Violence's annual food drive

WHERE: Albertsons, 3620 N. Carson St.

WHEN: 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday

CONTACT: 883-7654. They need volunteers for the early shift.

• If you would like your information included, please contact me at kimriggs@att.net.


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