By Thomas Garcia
CMI Staff Writer
For many Christmas time is a busy time of year, with gift shopping and family gatherings.
Additionally, many area organizations and entities are working on a variety of Christmas benefit programs in order to provide those in need some holiday assistance and cheer both locally and world wide.
“We hold programs like this to show the children that we can and appreciate them especially around the holidays,” said Richard Gomez, executive director of the Lighthouse Mission in Clovis.
Gomez said this year the mission will hold a Christmas Party on Dec. 14 with food and toys for those children in need. He said this party gives the families a chance to enjoy Christmas together while seeing their children joy from receiving a toy.
Gomez said the mission will also be holding a community Christmas Day dinner for those who would not normally have a holiday meal. He said the meal gives people a chance to spend time with people when they’d otherwise spend the holiday alone.
Providing Christmas joy is what is driving the Clovis and Portales police department’s toy drives which will strive to provide area children a gift to unwrap this holiday.
“Every child should have a gift for Christmas and this is our way to help make that possible for the children in our area,” said Mickie Gonzales, event coordinator for PPD.
Gonzales said this year the Portales police department is partnering with the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office and Eastern New Mexico University to try and reach out to more families in need. She said this year the program will require parents to come to the police department at 1700 North Boston Street to pick up a ticket that the children will be able to present to Santa on Dec. 21 for a toy.
In an effort to reach out to those children around the world that would have nothing for Christmas, Parkland Baptist Church is partnering with Operation Christmas Child to ship shoe boxes containing school supplies, toys and hygiene products to children in 158 countries, said Wayne Boydstun, associate pastor.
Boydstun said the shoe boxes are part of the church’s mission to provide a gift of material possession as well as a gift of faith to the children around the world. He said many of the children in those countries have nothing and Christmas is just another day in their struggle.
The Clovis Police department is holding its Shop with a Cop program. Each child selected will receive a $100 gift card to shop with a member of local law enforcement.
Nomination forms are available at the Clovis Police department. The deadline to turn in forms to the police department is 5 p.m. Dec. 6.
For information call Daron Roach 763-9427 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Clovis-Curry County Chamber of Commerce ambassadors will host the Random Acts of Kindness Christmas outreach project on Dec. 12.
Chamber ambassadors will contribute money at several local supermarkets to help pay for holiday groceries for randomly selected recipients.
To donate or for information call 763-3435.
The Curry County offices are holding a canned and non-parishable food drive to benefit the Hartley House this Christmas.
Donations can be dropped off at a table set up outside the County Clerk’s Office at the County Court House 700 N. Main Street.
Parkland Baptist Church is partnering with Operation Christmas Child to ship shoeboxes containing items such as school supplies, toys, hygiene items and notes of encouragement to underprivileged children in 100 countries worldwide.
Shoe box donations can be dropped off at Parkland Baptist Church, 921 Parkland Drive, Clovis. 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Sunday and 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Monday.
For information call 762-1779.
The Empty Stocking Fund, a joint effort of the Salvation Army and Clovis Media Inc., is helping provide meals for needy seniors and gifts for children.
Donations: Can be dropped off at the PNT, 101 E. First St., or mailed to P.O. Box 848, Portales, NM, 88130. Donations will be accepted until Dec. 24. For information contact Jim Gallop at 762-3801.
The Salvation Army Angel Tree charity is helping parents provide Christmas presents to their children.
Paper angels hung on Christmas trees at Walmart, Hastings, North Plains Mall and St. Clair Orthodontics list the first name, age, clothing size, shoe size and gift wish of children in need.
Donors must fill out a form located on the angel and turn the forms into at the angel tree location or at the Salvation Army, 317 East Second Street.
The charity runs through Dec. 18.
The Salvation Army Christmas Kettle program is raising funds to support Salvation Army programs that benefit those in need.
Cash, check or money order donations can be made in the Salvation Army kettles in front of Walmart, Walgreens, Big Lots, Hobby Lobby, S and S Supermarket and Lowes.
Kettles will be available through Dec. 24.
The Portales Police Department is partnering with the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office and Eastern New Mexico University for Operation Santa Cop Toy Drive through Dec. 18 to benefit children ages 0-18.
Donation boxes will be available on the ENMU Campus and officers and deputies will be at Walmart on 1604 East Spruce Street 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday and Saturday and Dec. 13-14 to accept toy and cash donations.
For a list of additional drop box locations and information call 356-4404.
The police department will also accept cash donations to purchase toys.
If you know of another program that benefits children and families for Christmas, contact the newspaper so it can be listed.