Jeanne Ulrich and the busy elves with Atascosa County Christmas Elf Project Target (ACCEPT) 2015 are preparing for another successful project this year. The annual food and toy drive helps make Christmas a happy time for all Atascosa County residents.
Local residents who wish to apply are reminded that the deadline is Dec. 6 and soon approaching.
To be eligible for the program, you cannot be receiving these items from other agencies or groups in the county. Remember, you may apply at any location. Dates are:
•Monday, Nov. 30- Saturday, Dec. 5: First Baptist Youth Building, 311 Smith St. in Pleasanton from 9 a.m. to noon.
•Dec. 1- Dec. 3: First Baptist Church, Hwy. 16 (corner of Peach and Campbell) in Jourdanton from 9 a.m. to noon.
•Saturday, Dec. 5: St. Matthew Catholic Church, classroom #5 (1608 Campbell) in Jourdanton from 9 a.m. to noon.
•Saturday, Dec. 5 ONLY: Poteet Fire Station, 9 a.m. to noon.
•Wednesday- Dec. 2- Saturday, Dec. 5: Rev. John Wagner Family Center- St. Mary’s Hall in Charlotte from 9 a.m. to noon.
The beginnings of ACCEPT date back to 1985, when it was a food drive of the Pleasanton Noon Lions Club, to provide some Christmas baskets for a few needy families. It had such a big response and the identified need was so great, that Msgr. John Wagner and Rev. Bill Lawrence were asked to put together a larger community project through the newly formed Atascosa Christian Assistance Ministry (CAM).
ACCEPT has served a total of 13,184 families from 1988-2013. Last year, 383 families were served and 634 toys and gifts, along with $6,045 in cash vouchers were distributed.
Atascosa County is experiencing a rate of un-employment slightly above the surrounding counties and state and with the pull back of oil production in the area, more persons are losing their jobs.
Senior citizens are asked to do with less because of increases in the cost of health insurance withheld from their subsidy checks. Churches in the community have experienced a steady increase of families seeking financial help in paying for utilities, school supplies and food from them. Volunteers expect that they need to prepare for at least 500 families this year.
Jeanne Ulrich explained that wrapping, sorting, setting up and distribution will take place at First Baptist Church in Pleasanton starting the week of Sunday, Dec. 13.
“We will begin taking in items at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 13, at the new FBC Fellowship Hall, by the Old Rock Schoolhouse” said Ulrich.
“Then we will be there all week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. People who help can come and go as they please. There will be a number of ways that they can help. They can help wrap, categorize items, etc.”
The items will then be given out on Friday, Dec. 18. They plan to be out by 5 p.m.
Non-perishable food list:
•Canned Vegetables – green beans, peas, corn, mixed vegetables, spinach, beets, tomatoes, yams, potatoes, hominy
•Canned Fruit/Fruit Juices – peaches, pineapple, apple, fruit pie fillings, oranges, prunes, fruit cocktail, pears, grapes, cherries, etc.
•Canned meat/peanut butter – tuna, chicken, turkey, spam, ham, etc.
•Soups – chicken, beef, Ramen, tomato, vegetable
•Baby food items – canned milk, cereal/baby fruits/ juices, etc.
•Dried staple foods (1,2,3 or 5 pound bags) – flour, sugar, rice, beans, pastas
•Barbie, Ken, fashion dolls with extra outfit
•Action figures (GI Joe, Power Rangers, etc.)
•Sports items ( basketball, football, soccer, volleyball)
•Toiletries (after shave, male and female cologne)
•Male wallet, female purse
•Baby gift for 0-18 months.
Please do not wrap gifts. Please include batteries for any battery-operated toys. ACCEPT cannot accept clothing.