• Help Spread the Cheer

Give the gift of compassion, support and help this Christmas season.

There are many in our community, that live in poverty that will be struggling to keep their homes heated and their families fed and will be unable to celebrate Christmas. By the time the basics – food, housing and utilities are provided – money for gifts will be very small, if any at all, for many families in our area.

Many years ago, Carl Finney (one of our board directors)  started an annual toy drive and holiday meal giveaways. These programs are in jeopardy of no longer existing. The past few years have been a financial struggle to keep up with the needs of the community. In past years they have help over 50 families; a little over 100 kids.

Eastern Plains Community Pantry (EPCP) has taken over the toy drive and holiday meal giveaway. This year they are expecting the need to just as great.

A simple way to bring Christmas to these children is to donate a new, unwrapped gift for children between the ages of newborn -10 years and over who are attending school. EPCP would like to provide 3 toys per child for approximately 150 kids and food gift certificate for about 75 families for Thanksgiving and 100 families for Christmas to Woolsey’s Food Center, the local grocery store in Calhan. Food Certificates allow the families to purchase the type of food that their family enjoys, much the same as you and I do in preparing holiday meals for our loved ones. The certificates are calculated for the number of members in the family, $50 will cover a certificate for a family of four.

We are asking individuals and businesses in the community to help provide toys and meals for our families in need. Either by collecting toys or money in their location for the Eastern Plains Community Pantry. Any money collected will either be used for the purchase of new toys or for gift certificate.

We would also like to have an area where the children could go “shopping” for their parents. Children know how hard their parents work to provide for them, help them to honor their parents. Consider small items presents that children can give to their parents at Christmas as well.

Checks can be made payable to Eastern Plains Community Pantry (EPCP), please note in the memo line “Holiday Program”. Cash donations and toy collections may be delivered to EPCP (701 4th Street, Calhan, Colorado 80808) from 9 am. to 5 pm on Mondays, and 9 am to 1 pm on Tuesday through Friday and 9 am to noon on Saturdays.  EPCP can also come collect the donations at any local business.

The toy giveaway this year will be December 17th, distribution begins at noon, at the Whittemore Building on the El Paso County Fairgrounds. For those who cannot help with the donations but would like to volunteer their time EPCP could use your help with toy collections, organization, set up, take-down and being a shopping host with the families. Contact EPCP for more information.

Help make a difference for hundreds of children in need this holiday season. Please consider helping in any way that you can.

Cheryl Lopez

Pantry Coordinator

Eastern Plains Community Pantry

epcp2013@hotmail.com 719-347-3062

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