Now that Operation Christmas is well on its way to gathering used clothing and miscellaneous items, workers have found a big hole in the system.
There seems to be a severe lack of infants' and children's clothing, especially for boys.
So, co-chairman Ruth Reed asks anyone with outgrown children's clothing to consider donating it to Operation Christmas. The clothing must be in good shape, and any size will be accepted.
Since those wanting Christmas boxes don't start applying until Nov. 30, there's still time to get those clothes donated before they'll be needed. Don't put it off - it's better than stashing clothing you may never need again in dresser drawers that could be used for something else.
By the way, Operation Christmas is housed in the Crossroads Mall, the former Hancock Fabrics store area. For those of you who go further back, that spot belonged to Walgreens before it moved across Fifth Avenue South.
During the holidays, lots of programs ask for and need your help. I know it's easy to say "I don't have the money for that," but that excuse really pales in the face of families whose new clothing may be your discarded old clothing.
And, getting involved is easier the more often you do it.
For 15-year-old Abby Peterson, daughter of Kim and Mark Peterson, of Harcourt, involvement has taken on new meaning.
Since she and her mother took part in the 2009 Summer IOWAY mission team trip to Los Angeles for District West of the Missouri Lutheran Church, she's been planning a community service project.
She's collecting underwear. New, unused, practical underwear for both women and men in a "Spare a New Pair" project. She'll share what she collects with the youth shelter and the YWCA in Fort Dodge, but also intends to send some of the donated underwear to the Skid Row church group.
"We helped a church group on Skid Row when we were there," she said. "They had an enclosed area where they handed out food and clothing and backpacks. The backpacks were more suitable for older people because they had personal hygiene supplies, a meal and little candies."
But the biggest need, she said, is for underwear, the garment most requested.
Donations of new underwear in women's sizes 7, 8 and 9 and in men's L, XL and XXL - and smaller sizes for children in the youth shelter - are needed. So, too, are gift cards for discount stores that shelters can use to purchase underwear.
You may contact Abby, a sophomore at Prairie Valley High School in Gowrie and a member of the Elkhorn Earlybirds 4-H Club, by calling 879-2477 or by e-mail at email@example.com to make arrangements for donating the underwear.
"We're just collecting until we get as much as we need," she said. "But, it's never really going to end."
The need for help never ends. Please be part of the solution - get involved and help whenever possible. Follow Abby Peterson's lead for caring and making a difference.
So long friends, until the next time when we're together.
Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 573-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org