Project Noel Altus co-organizers, Mike and Mitzi Pate, announce that Project Noel Altus 2015 is now under way. The Department of Human Services and the First United Methodist Church are once again partnering with the community to provide Project Noel Altus for needy children in Jackson County.
Project Noel Altus has grown into a community project involving many churches, businesses and organizations. Approximately 6,000 children received gifts through Project Noel over the past eight years. Plans are under way to distribute gifts for 750 or more children on Dec. 19.
Ramona Nobles, Jackson County Social Services Supervisor, and Michael Barnes, DHS Social Service Specialist, will be conducting screening of families for Project Noel beginning on Monday, Nov 16. Employees at the Department of Human services will be screening families and issuing the vouchers. Applications can be made Monday through Friday, Nov. 16 through Nov. 20, from 9 a.m. to noon, and from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Department of Human Services Center, 201 S. Main Street in Altus. A voucher will be issued only to the parent or guardian living with each needy child.
Any family living in Jackson County who truly feels they have a need is welcome to apply. Families do not have to be currently receiving assistance from DHS to receive gifts from Project Noel.
Altus First United Methodist Church, DHS, individuals, families, and many other churches, organizations and businesses from around the Altus area will again be partnering together to provide the Christmas gifts. The project’s theme comes from 1st Timothy 6:18, “Tell them to go after God, Who piles on all the riches we could ever manage, to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous.” This verse has encouraged many to be thankful for what they have and generous to those in our community.
“The help of the whole community is needed to complete this project,” said Pate. “Everyone can help by donating new toys, gifts or money. Community members can help by bringing any $10 to $30 gift to the First United Methodist Church, Main and W. Cypress in Altus.”
Project Noel is also seeking donations of new blankets to be given to families on distribution day, Saturday, Dec. 19.
Suggested gifts are:
*Non-violent toys and gifts for boys and girls, ages infants to 17 years.
*Sports equipment, balls and air pumps.
*Adult size socks for junior and senior high children.
*Watches or jewelry for preteen and teen girls and boys.
*Grooming items for teens.
*Fashion items such as belts, purses, wallets, shirts or sweaters for teens, males and females.
Mitzi Pate, co-organizer said, “Over the years we have had many of the families served let us know how grateful they are for this community resource. The volunteers who conduct Project Noel have been gracious in serving families with dignity and unbelievable hospitality.”
“Because of this great need, assistance from the whole community will be needed to make Project Noel the success it has been the past eight years. Our goal is to raise funds to purchase each child a $20 to $25 gift plus two or three stocking stuffers such as smaller toys, candy, books, toiletries, etc. We need at least $15,000 to meet this goal.”
Pate added, “Donations are tax deductible and are handled through the First United Methodist Church for accountability purposes only. Checks may be made payable to Project Noel or the First United Methodist Church with Project Noel on the memo line. Donations will be accepted this week through Dec. 16.”
Questions can be directed to Mike or Mitzi Pate by calling 580-482-8513.
For additional information and the history of Project Noel, visit the project website at www.projectnoelaltus.org or find them on Facebook at Project Noel Altus.