While most are aware that CONTACT Helpline provides a 24/7 telephone crisis intervention line, they may not know the nonprofit organization checks in daily by phone with hundreds of senior and shut-in Reassurance clients who live alone.
As Christmas approaches, the agency serving eight counties has kicked off its Reassurance gift boxes project.
“We are so honored to call more than 300 senior citizens and disabled individuals each day to make sure they are safe and not forgotten,” said Executive Director Katrina Sunivelle. “It gives us great pleasure to show them love during the holiday season, by giving them a gift box filled with goodies.”
Churches, organizations and individuals are asked to help by collecting items on the Reassurance Wish List for both male and female clients. The list includes warm caps, socks, gloves, scarves, toiletries, small throws or lap blankets.
Monetary donations to purchase items are also welcome. Checks made payable to CONTACT Helpline may be mailed to P.O. Box 1304, Columbus, MS 39703.
“You can help give a smile to our elderly,” Sunivelle said.
There are several ways to get items to the agency through Dec. 14, said CONTACT Office Manager Latoshia Frierson.
A Christmas tree located inside Walmart is adorned with tags indicating individuals’ needs. Shoppers can “adopt” a tag, shop for items and turn the tag and purchases in at the Customer Service desk.
Gift box items may be dropped off at the United Way of Lowndes County office at 223 22nd St. N. weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. as well. They may also be turned in at a Dec. 6 concert by the United Gospel Harmony Choir of Mississippi University for Women. Admission to the 5 p.m. event at Rent Auditorium is Wish List items and canned or other non-perishable food items.
CONTACT Helpline is a 501(c)(3) faith-based agency supported by United Way and contributions from businesses, charities and individuals. All donations are tax-deductible.
For more information, or to volunteer to help distribute gift boxes, call the agency office at 662-327-2968.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.
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