Editorial: It's the season for giving generously

If you're looking for ways to make a difference in this season of giving, there are several opportunities to support programs for people in need in the Grand Canyon, Tusayan and Valle communities.

Whether you're able to give money, time or both, every little bit is gratefully accepted.

The Angel Tree is set up at the Delaware North General Store and is decorated with tags bearing gender and ages of children in need. To participate, choose a tag, take it to the service desk to be signed out, purchase an age- and gender-appropriate gift in the $15-$20 range and return it, unwrapped, with the tag to the General Store. The deadline to return the gift is next Tuesday, Dec. 16.

Along with gifts, donations of wrapping materials are always welcome. Volunteers are usually needed for a big wrapping party and to help deliver both gifts and food baskets.

Area employers have been asked to refer families in need. You can also help by doing the same for someone you know.

The Angel Tree operates in conjunction with the Holiday Food Basket program which provides a holiday meal and other food to families. These include families on the Angel Tree, as well as others in need. Financial donations are needed, as well as a few hours of help to pack the boxes and help deliver them to employers.

For information on either program or to find out when and what volunteers are needed, contact Sharon Lange at 638- 7890 during the day, 638-3491 evenings or e-mail egnal@q.com.

The Grand Canyon Assembly of God is coordinating a toy drive to help needy children in the community. Collections will be taken through Saturday, Dec. 20. Contact the church at 928-707-2904 for more information on how you can donate. Extra toys will be given to the Angel Tree program and Toys for Tots.

The Community Food Pantry can also use more for its shelves going into the winter season, especially canned meats and fruit. Grand Canyon School is holding a canned food drive through Thursday, Dec. 18. Just send items to school with your children or drop them off at the school office. There is also a collection box set up at the General Store. For more information, including for families who may need the pantry, call Community Church Pastor Jared Long at 638-2340.

Another opportunity to help those in need this holiday season with just a small amount of time is "ringing" the (silent) bell for the Salvation Army. Volunteers are needed for two-hour shifts this weekend and next in front of the Delaware North General Store. To volunteer, contact Judy Kopp at jkopp@xanterra.com.

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