Ouray County residents have generously opened their pocketbooks to provide gifts, clothing, and food to help neighbors at Christmas-time, and now the series of helping opportunities will be called Ouray County Cares.
Families in need may obtain gift request forms through Social Services. School personnel, churches, and concerned citizens also help identify families who are struggling and could benefit from this program.
For many less fortunate families, the gifts, clothing and food provided by Ouray County Cares are often the only Christmas they will have. As one grateful recipient wrote in a thank you note, “For people to take the time to shop for a stranger and their family is a special thing. I really can’t put into words how that made me and my family feel, and even though my kids are not old enough to realize what was done for us, they will later in life. I hope to raise my children to be just as kind and caring as others have been to us.” Another family said: “Thank you for all your help. We would not have Christmas without you.” One senior couple commented that they were totally overwhelmed by the amount of food delivered and how much it would help them in the winter months.
Here’s how to help make a difference through Ouray County Cares this holiday season:
– Make a tax-deductible contribution. Cash contributions are used to purchase food, staples, and gift cards for families. Contributions are also used throughout the year as special needs arise; OCC has assisted with items such as medical expenses, utilities, and school expenses. Checks made payable to “Ouray County Cares” can be mailed to R.C.P. Cares, P.O. Box 215, Ridgway, CO 81432. Gift cards can be purchased from retail establishments and mailed to the same address.
– Adopt an angel from the angel trees. For anyone wishing to purchase a specific gift for a child or family, Angel Trees with gift requests are located at Ridgway Schools, the Ouray School, the Ridgway Library, and both branches of Citizen State Bank in Ridgway and Ouray. Unwrapped gifts should be taken to any of the tree locations no later than Tuesday, December 13.
– Adopt a family. OCC will work to help find a family to donate to, and provide a list of clothing, toys, and other items requested by that family. For more information, contact Stephanie Wes at 970/626-3038.
– Organize canned food on Thursday, December 15. This involves some lifting of boxes onto tables and sorting of food. Contact Nancy Meyers at 970/626-9825 or Laureen Kraft at 970/626-9889 to volunteer for a couple of hours in the afternoon.
– Join OCC on Friday, December 16 beginning at 10:30 a.m. This is when volunteers gather at the Ouray County Fairgrounds Building (please note the new location) to fill boxes with gifts and food. Lunch will be provided. To volunteer, please contact Stephanie West or Jennifer Jossi (970/626-3693).
– Let OCC know who needs help. If you are aware of someone residing in Ouray County who could use some assistance for the holidays, please call Stephanie West. All information will be kept in confidence.