With the rapid approach of the holidays, it’s so easy to let yourself get wrapped up in decorating, partying, baking, buying and entertaining.
However, if you look around our small town there is considerable effort to make this a festive season for those too strapped to pursue holiday activities on their own.
• The Williams branch of the Salvation Army needs volunteer bell ringers for the December fund-raising drive, and donations are crucial for the needy in town. Bell ringers are needed at National Bank of Arizona, The Stockmen’s Bank, Safeway and the Williams Post Office.
Anyone who wants to volunteer or make an early donation can call Carol DeLander, at the Williams-Grand-Canyon News, 635-4426.
• The Williams Lions Club is again sponsoring the Toys for Tots drive, providing toys for the less fortunate children in the Williams area. Christmas trees, located at National Bank of Arizona, The Stockmen’s Bank and the Williams Ranger District office of the Forest Service at Camp Clover, will have cards listing children who need a Christmas gift.
Anyone wishing to provide a toy for a needy child can pick a card from a tree and purchase a suitable toy for the child selected.
Gifts are to be wrapped and returned to the business where they were selected by Dec. 15. Williams Lions Club members will be delivering the gifts to children’s homes before Christmas.
Anyone who prefers to contribute a cash donation or an unwrapped gift, should contact a Williams Lions Club member.
Those who know of children who might otherwise have a bleak Christmas are asked to contact Lions member Edie Phillips at 635-4784 with the name, address, sex and age of the children.
• Another beneficiary to consider is the Williams’ Ministerial Association’s Benevolent Fund, which provides gas vouchers, food boxes and temporary housing to those stranded in Williams. Two contacts include the Rev. Lyle Johnston, association president, 635-2521 and the Rev. Charles Lord, vice president, 635-4692.
Also, anyone who knows of persons stranded in Williams can get assistance for them underway by calling Williams Police Department at 635-4461.
• Williams Kiwanis Club is sponsoring a musical instrument drive for Williams, Parks and Ash Fork Schools. As many as 15 Williams students weren't able to participate in the band program this year because there were no instruments for them to use. Kiwanis Club members decided folks might have used musical instruments they no longer use and would donate these instruments for the youth in these communities to participate in the band program. Monetary donations are being accepted to cover instrument repair. Anyone who wants to donate musical instruments is asked to please contact Carol Glassburn at 635-4503 or Jack Hadley at 635-2055.
• Family Harvest Food Bank and Valle Food Bank have collection jars at several generous businesses in the Williams area. Collection of funds and items for these food banks should be directly handled by Joe Beavers, pastor of Family Harvest Church. For more information, call Beavers at 635-2077.
• With Thanksgiving behind us, Williams Emergency Food Bank is looking for items to be distributed to families in the Williams area during the Christmas holidays.
Many items are still needed to ensure bounty for the needy. Canned goods, non-perishable items, dry goods, turkeys and hams are needed to fill Christmas baskets. Items can be dropped off at 529 W. McPherson St. For more information, contact Georgia Bowman, food bank director at 635-9385.
• Eight officers at Williams Police Department are adopting three or four families they adopt this Christmas and are busy gathering toys to ensure their children's Christmas is bountiful. There is a donation box at city hall and at WPD. The officers are also accepting gift certificates and money as donations. Toys donated need to be unwrapped. WPD will also be teaming up with Flagstaff Police officers to man a collection booth at the Flagstaff Mall.
Another way to give to the children in Williams and get something in return is by purchasing a raffle ticket for a kid’s electric battery powered motorcycle WPD is raffling off for DARE. It will hold one rider up to 8-years-old and has a working siren, lights and it goes forward and reverse. The bike is a three wheeler and looks like a small version of a police motorcycle. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5 and the raffle will be held Dec. 22.
There might be other groups or individual efforts underway in Williams the News has overlooked but not intentionally. There are still two editions of the paper prior to Christmas. Just let us know. We’ll be happy to spread the word about your endeavors.