Giving programs open for business

by marlys good’

With “Black Friday” just around the corner, and the frenzy of holiday shopping beckoning people to “get it” in time for Christmas, people are reminded of the numerous ongoing programs right here in Greybull that go far to help those in need of a special lift to provide a happy holiday for their family and loved ones, and for those who have no one near to help lift their spirits at this time of year.

Some of the residents at Bonnie Bluejacket Nursing Home and Wyoming Retirement Center, cut off from family and friends, have very few visitors and need someone to help brighten the holiday.

Patti Hoff of Bank of Greybull said they have a “gift book” that includes of 36 residents of the two nursing homes and a few gift suggestions for each.

Stop in, check the list and sign one of the duplicate copies (including your phone number). Take the other copy, purchase, wrap and tag your gift(s) and return to Bank of Greybull by Thursday, Dec. 19.

Shopko is focusing on Toys for Tots this year. Manager Andy Smith said, “Both bins are almost full already.” That just means the bins will be emptied and made ready for more gifts.

Also involved in the program is Ron’s Food Farm where two bins are on site, and Big Horn Rural Electric in Basin.

The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program originated in 1949 with a mission to collect new, unwapped toys and distribute them as Christmas gifts to needy children in the communities where the campaigns are conducted.

Toys and gifts for children of all ages, up through and including teenagers, can be dropped in the bins. Gifts for older children could include jewelry (necklaces, bracelets, earrings), CDs, videos, anything age appropriate. Age-appropriate books are also welcome.

The Salvation Army, complete with ringing bells and familiar black kettle, will be in front of the Herb Asp Community Center Dec. 7 soliciting donations. All money received stays right here in Greybull.

Donations can also be sent to: Salvation Army, Box 495, Greybull, WY 82426, or left with Kathy Smith at Greybull City Hall or contact Kay Mattis.

Smith said volunteer bell ringers are needed. If you have an extra 30 minutes or an hour or so on Saturday, call Kathy at City Hall, 765-9431. Your help would be appreciated.

BPOE 1431 is once again coordinating the Christmas Baskets program in conjunction with Ron’s Food Farm and the generosity of the community. Donations to the Food Baskets can be dropped off or sent to Big Horn Federal, 33 N. Sixth St., Greybull, WY 82426.

Churches, the senior center, schools and other charitable organizations are gathering names of families who might need one of the baskets, which will include everything needed for Christmas dinner, from meat to dessert. The baskets will be delivered a couple of days before the holiday.

For further information call BPOE 1431, 765-2500 and leave a message, or Louise Wrage, 765-4458 or 765-2514.

The Greybull Food Pantry at the Community Outreach thrift shop can always use donations of non-perishable food items. Especially needed are canned meats, macaroni and cheese, easy-to-fix meals, canned fruit and paper products (toilet paper, paper towels, etc.). All items will be appreciated.

The thrift shop is also supporting the Veterans Hospital in Sheridan. If you would like to help brighten life for the veteran residents, you can donate postage stamps, western novels, new or gently used, pre-paid phone cards (20-30 minutes, no high minute value), or playing cards directly to the thrift shop.

Donating to one, or multiple of these programs, will ensure a happier holiday for many, many people in this community and beyond.