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The Optimist Club of Caroline County is accepting gifts to help spread joy to needy children this year.
The nonprofit organization is spearheading Operation Shoebox in partnership with Caroline County government, the county Department of Social Services and the county school system.
The project aims to bring joy into the lives of low-income children who might not have anything under the tree this holiday season.
This is the 10th year of the program in Caroline County, and organizers hope to receive at least 750 boxes this year. So far, they've collected only 15 boxes. The deadline is Saturday.
Organizers are asking donators to give something a child would want, like a toy or game, not necessarily something that they need, like a scarf or gloves.
Here is what it requires:
Fill a regular-size shoe box with holiday treasures for a boy or girl between the ages of 3 and 12. Select gifts based on the age and gender you have chosen.
Items should be new, and something a child would want, not need. Limit the total cost of the items to $25.
Wrap the completed box and attach a note on the outside identifying the gift's appropriate age and gender.
Drop it off at an office of Union Bank and Trust in Bowling Green, Ladysmith, Port Royal or any Fredericksburg branch; the Caroline County Administration Offices building in Bowling Green; or at the Department of Social Services at the Caroline County Community Services Center.
The Department of Social Services is accepting empty shoe boxes, and cash donations can be sent to the Optimist Club of Caroline County, Box 225, Ladysmith, Va. 22501.
Social Services and Caroline schools will identify which children will receive the boxes using the free and reduced-price lunch list. While the county asks that boxes be dropped off before Friday because offices and schools are closed Saturday, donations will be accepted until Christmas Eve.
Contact Optimist Club President Cindy Ashcraft at 804/448-1974 or pashcraft
Email: email@example.com with questions, to volunteer or to recommend a family.
Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419