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Thu, Jan. 28

ESA ships annual Christmas boxes
Care packages sent far away throughout year

Williams resident Bea Johnson helps ESA members pack boxes for service personnel Dec. 1.

Williams resident Bea Johnson helps ESA members pack boxes for service personnel Dec. 1.

Forty military servicemen and women not spending Christmas in Williams will know the community is thinking about them when they receive boxes full of Williams around Christmas. Approximately a dozen community members gathered Dec. 1 at the Community United Methodist Church hall to prepare the boxes for shipping the next day.

The service project ‹ a Williams tradition for nearly 40 years ‹ is spearheaded annually by the Williams Epsilon Sigma Alpha sorority.

Each box contains a pine bough, Arizona Highways, cards, homemade cookies, candy, personal toiletries and more. The items were donated by area residents and businesses. Many of the recipients were born and raised in Williams while others have personal ties to the community.

Longtime ESA member Dorothy Miller mails the packages each year. She has sent 38 of the 40 boxes. The costs of mailing was nearly $700. Donations from the community defrayed the cost of mailing.

"Thanks for all the help and donations," Miller said. "It's just wonderful."

The service project is not limited to Christmastime. Throughout the year, Miller continues to send at least one box every six weeks to servicemen and women serving in Iraq. Therefore, donations are always needed and welcomed.

ESA members contribute Safeway gift cards to senior citizens in Williams to ease the burden of shopping for Christmas dinners. The group recently donated $150 to the Williams Needs an Angel Committee to be used for the purchase of playground equipment at the Williams Elementary-Middle School.

The group will celebrate this year's accomplishments Tuesday at a Christmas party hosted by Miller. Good food, fun and gifts from Santa will be shared. Guests will include Sue Hadley, Brenda Gebler and Roberta Wright.

For more information about ESA or to donate to the service personnel gift box project, contact Miller at (928) 635-4330.

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