To the Editor and Members of Lincoln County Communities:
Having served as a pastor in Lincoln County for the past 13 years, I have learned to appreciate this area immensely. The people in this part of the world are typically very caring, compassionate and willing to give of themselves. As we approach the Christmas season, individuals, local charities, businesses, Wal-Mart, HAVEN abuse shelter, the Merrill Fire Department and other groups have once again banded together to develop the Christmas Spirit Appeal.
The Christmas Spirit Appeal is in its eighth year as a way of matching loving, generous people with people in our area who could use some help. Donors who want to provide gifts and help to individuals and families with needs are anonymously matched with recipients. HAVEN, the abuse shelter in Merrill, acts as a clearing house. Volunteers to make it all happen come from all over the county.
Individuals wanting to make gifts or offer help are invited to contact Karen at HAVEN at 536-1300. Your Christmas gifts – either cash or new items such as toys and clothing – can be anonymously received and anonymously distributed to screened recipients.
Those wanting to apply to receive gifts may pick up forms at HAVEN, St. Vincent DePaul or Comunidad Hispana. The application deadline for recipients is Dec. 6. The date for gift distribution is Dec. 17. There will be more than one location for gift distribution this year, and each recipient will be notified by postcard of the location where they may pick up their items.
If you would like to become a recipient of Christmas Spirit Appeal gifts, please fill out and return an application form to HAVEN, St. Vincent DePaul or Comunidad Hispana as soon as possible.
If you are willing to provide gifts or cash to purchase gifts, please call 536-1300 to make arrangements as soon as possible.
Just as Jesus fed a multitude with a few loaves of bread and some fish, Lincoln County can provide a happy Christmas for people who might not otherwise have one.
Rev. Earl R. Eckhart