Elves wanted

You can help make this hoiday season merry for many

Christmas season is always a good time to give back to the community, buy toys for children who may not receive anything otherwise or help those who need it. This year, charitable organizations are teaming up to make sure it’s a Merry Christmas for everyone, and they want your help.

Toys for Tots is back in action this year, with toy barrels spread across the Grand Valley for collecting new, unwrapped gifts. For specific locations, go to http://www.toysfortots.org, click on Colorado and Grand Junction and then look for toy drop off locations.

The Salvation Army is also in high gear, gathering not only toys, but also food and clothing for their Christmas boxes. The Salvation Army has more than 20 Giving Trees in various locations (including Mesa Mall) where you can pick up a tag with a child’s complete wish list, including clothing sizes.

Buy everything on the list or buy one item on the list, but bring both the tag and the unwrapped gift back to any Giving Tree, Salvation Army office or toy barrel. Volunteers will make sure that everything on the list is included in the child’s Christmas box.

“Our community is the most generous community I’ve ever seen,” said Claudia Jackson. “You wouldn’t believe what those kids receive.”

For those with time and the desire to do something beyond buying a toy, the Salvation Army is always looking for Christmas elves to help assemble Christmas and food boxes. Last year, the Salvation Army fulfilled the wishes of 3,100 children and gave away more than 100,000 pounds of food. That takes a lot of elves working behind the scene to sort toys and food for needy families.

“We’ll need volunteers through Dec. 23,” said Kyla Kelty with the Salvation Army.

Volunteers can stop by the Salvation Army office at 1235 N. Fourth Street, or call 242-7513. Kelty will work with volunteers to accommodate schedules and availability. If standing and sorting are too physical, Kelty also needs volunteers who can sit and take applications through Dec. 9.

If the people on your list already have everything they need and want nothing but the gift of your presence during the holidays, consider giving a gift through Grand Valley Peace and Justice.

With more than 20 local charities and 35 international charities from which to choose, gift givers need only go the website, gvpeaceand justice.org, stop by the office at 253 White Ave., or call 243-0136.

Grand Valley Peace and Justice will send a card to notify the receiver of the gift given in his or her name and will be taking requests through Dec. 16.

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