Donations will go to blankets for elderly

AARP Colorado is hosting a Western Slope No-Contact Blanket Drive through Jan. 4 to provide new, unused blankets to local nursing home residents to help beat isolation and send some love during this difficult time, a news release said.

An online $10 contribution will provide a new lap blanket, “gift wrapped and delivered to the residents of local nursing facilities, who have suffered during this tough time, isolated from loved ones due to the pandemic and plagued by loneliness and depression,” the release said.

Blankets will be delivered to residents of The Oaks Assisted Living Facility in Fruita, and Eagle Ridge of Grand Valley, in Grand Junction.

All proceeds will go toward the purchase of new lap blankets. Go to states.aarp.org/colorado and click on “Upcoming Events” to learn more and register.

AARP prepares for free tax assistance

AARP/TaxAide is providing free tax preparation for the upcoming tax season.

The organization has been granted initial approval for the variance protection program by the Mesa County Health Department, a news release said.

The process will be vastly different this year since social distancing must be enforced. There will be no group gatherings. Taxpayers will still be welcomed on a first-come, first-served basis and masks must be worn at all times.

Taxpayers will be asked to wait in their vehicle while their return is being prepared and to have a cell phone with them so they can be contacted while waiting for the return to be completed.

Taxpayers will need to bring social security cards, photo IDs, and necessary documents to accurately complete their returns, as well as the previous year’s returns. AARP/TaxAide still cannot complete out-of-state returns for those states who have an income tax.

Two sites will be open starting Feb. 1: Wells Fargo Main Annex, from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays; and Wells Fargo North, from 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Bell-ringers contribute more than $42,000

The Salvation Army bell ringing competition between the Kiwanis Club and the Grand Junction Rotary Club earlier this month, raised more than $42,000 from a combined solicitation at the kettles and donations from club members.

One of the highest profile days of kettle bell ringing happened Dec. 5, when members of the clubs rang at more than 30 locations across the Grand Valley, a news release said. According to local Salvation Army director, Capt. Joe West, the competition is the organization’s greatest single fundraising day of the year.

The Kiwanis Club also helped organize and participated in the annual Santa Cause Run, an event to raise funds for inclusive playgrounds that help serve children with physical, social and emotional needs.

The run/walk took place virtually this year.

Office, trash collection holiday schedule

City of Grand Junction administrative offices will be closed Friday, Dec. 25, in observance of Christmas Day and Jan. 1, in observance of New Year’s Day. There will be no city trash collection on Dec. 25 or Jan. 1, and trash collection will begin at 6 a.m. on Dec. 24 in anticipation of early landfill closure. The trash collection schedule will be delayed by one day for the remainder of both weeks. For the GJCRI curbside recycling collection schedule, call 242-1036.

Mesa County administrative offices will also be closed Friday, Dec. 25, and Friday, Jan. 1. The closure does not include the Coroner’s Office, Criminal Justice Services (all locations) and the Sheriff’s Office (jail, patrol, emergency services at 215 Rice St.) Go to blog.mesacounty.us/2020/12/county-offices-will-be-closed-for.html for information

Services at all Mesa County Libraries locations will be closed Thursday and Friday, Dec. 24–25, and Friday, Jan. 1, for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Services not available those days include phone assistance, chat, and curbside pick-up of holds. Go to mesacountylibraries.org to place holds, renew materials, and use eResources such as Mango Languages, the OverDrive Digital Library, RBdigital Magazines, and Kanopy streaming media. Visit the website or call 243-4442 for information.

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