2018-12-06 / Front Page

‘Operation Love and Care’ expands from shoeboxes to gift bags this year

More than 120 residents of senior housing are looking forward to being remembered by the annual Christmas shoebox giveaway, but if a Christmas shoebox isn’t convenient, a gift bag is perfectly fine for the annual “Operation Love and Care,” the drive’s organizer says.

This year, according to Margie Burke, gift bags are becoming more popular. “It’s fine to use a gift bag instead of a shoebox. You can fit more into a bag, especially bulky things like blankets.”

Suggested items for boxes include lotion, toothpaste, body wash (no bar soap), toothbrushes, snack cakes, pudding or applesauce cups, stuffed toys, aftershave, brushes, soft peppermints, combs, sugar-free candies, hand-held mirrors, soft candy miniature bars, lipstick or lip balm, nail polish, playing cards, costume-type jewelry (beads, pins, etc.) mouthwash, Kleenex, chewing gum, handy-wipes, stocking caps, body spray, puzzle books, socks, stationery, undershirts, ink pens, pocket radios, flashlights, and batteries.

Bags or boxes may be dropped off at Bi-Lo supermarket, or call Burke at 706-318-0832 to arrange a pickup.

Last year volunteers collected and gave out 120 shoeboxes, and reached nearly every senior living at PruittHealth Washington, Harper’s Personal Care Home, Southern Manor, Echols Personal Care, and the Tignall House, and reached others who are shut-ins in their own homes. For years, Burke and a small band of volunteers have solicited, collected, and distributed Christmas gifts of small necessities and thoughtful luxuries that have brought joy to seniors who otherwise may not have had a gift or a visitor over Christmas.

As always, the annual outreach is being achieved only through the help of generous people in the community, Burke said. “We have such wonderful folks helping, and this year we’ll need more help than ever.”

Return to top