íTis the season to help those who need it

Written by Observer editorial reports December 19, 2011 08:24 pm

The holiday season is full of merriment and wonder, a time when family and friends get together to joyously celebrate Christmas and the coming of the New Year.

But is also the time when those less fortunate than ourselves require our help the most.

Those in need throughout Union and Wallowa counties depend on the kindness of others to make sure their families have enough food to eat, clothes to keep them warm and toys for their children to play with on Christmas Day.

And every year the residents of Union and Wallowa counties open their hearts and their wallets and help make a multitude of food, clothing and toy drives successful.

Food drives by the Community Action Network, the Grande Ronde Hospital and others gathered several tons of food to help fill the area’s food banks. But the Friday Backpack Program in La Grande and several other organizations that serve the hungry still need food donations.

Two seniors at Elgin High School have organized a winter coat fair to be held from 2 to 7 p.m. Wednesday. They will be collecting coats, jackets, gloves, scarves, hats, snow pants and snow boots for those who need them.

Union County’s “Trees of Giving” drive is still gathering items for Christmas baskets for the county’s homeless youth. Items needed include hats, gloves, socks, blankets, toiletries and non-perishable food items and they can be dropped off through the end of today at John Howard & Associated Real Estate at 1207 Adams Ave.

La Grande police officers, 9-1-1 dispatchers and Union County sheriff’s deputies treated 16 children to a holiday shopping spree at Walmart on Wednesday. But many other children will not have toys for Christmas without your help.

In Cove, toys can still be donated at Cove Methodist Church and Cheri’s Main Street Salon before families that need assistance pick them up from 5 to 8 p.m. today and 12:30 to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Toys can still be donated for Saturday’s Santa Claus Mall, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Blue Mountain Conference Center. Call 541-568-4447 to donate.

In La Grande, new, unwrapped toys are being collected at Les Schwab Tires, Ed Staub & Sons and Carpet One Floor & Home. In Enterprise, a “Toys for Tots” drive is under way and toys can be dropped off at the Les Schwab on the North Highway until Monday.

It is not too late to help those in need. By making a

donation, you will help make sure everyone has happy holidays.