Remember the less fortunate this season

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 14, 2001

With another Halloween come and gone, that time of year is quickly approaching

season filled with food, fun and family time.

Already many Greenville residents have purchased their Thanksgiving turkeys and have begun their Christmas shopping, and before you know it, families will gather together for a time that reminds us all what life is all about.

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But, what about those who don't have families, or children who will not wake up to Santa's gifts? In a time of giving, many people will not see the true joys of the season, and many will not feel the love that comes with having a family.

This year, take time to think of others, especially the children who may not wake up to gifts wrapped up with huge red and green bows.

One way to add to the joy of the season is to get involved with a charity.

One organization which is working hard to send some "wrapped love" is Operation Christmas Child.

The goal of the organization is to "send a message of hope to children in desperate situations around the world through gift-filled shoe boxes and Christian literature."

The program provides a way for individuals of all ages to be involved in a mission project that will "reach out to suffering while focusing on the true meaning of Christmas

Jesus Christ," according to the Operation Christmas Childs' home page.

Christmas boxes can be filled with school supplies, such as pens, pencils, markers, crayons, and writing pads as well as with candy, such as lollipops and gum, and toys, like small cars, dolls, balls and yo-yos.

The gift boxes are then sent to places as far away as Europe to as close as Mississippi.

Another Christmas-giving organization is Toys for Tots. This program is sponsored by the U.S. Marine Corps, and has local campaigns conducted in over 350 communities covering all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Toy collection campaigns begin in October and last until December 22, with toys being distributed to children on December 23 and 24. Over the years, Marines have discovered that social welfare agencies, church groups and other local community agencies are best qualified to identify the needy children in the community to ensure that the gifts go to those who really need them.

So this year while shopping for your own family, remember someone who might not be as fortunate and pick up a gift to show what the Christmas season is all about.

For more information on Toys for Tots, call (334) 272-8152, or for Operation Christmas Child, call 1-800-353-5949.