UCC Mainstream Online

Creating Christmas miracles

Ways to help and be helped

Getting into the spirit of giving can be difficult for students who are strapped both for cash and time. But before you get your Grinch on, you might want to consider that a study published by Health Psychology has shown that volunteers who give their time for unselfish reasons live longer than those who don’t volunteer. Volunteering will also reduce some of that stress we’re often too familiar with, according to Jeanie Lerche Davis of WebMD Health News.
In the spirit of the season, we’ve compiled a list of opportunities for giving, many of which involve giving time rather than money. Our list includes both local and national organizations.

Salvation Army Red Kettles
Last year, Salvation Army helped over 1,000 people in Douglas County. This year, they have 500 applications for families in need and intend to fulfill all of those needs with food and gifts.
That massive goal means they’ll need as much cash as possible in their red kettles located around Douglas County.
The red kettle idea started in 1891 by Joseph McFee as a method to raise money to provide a free dinner for 1,000 of the most needy San Franciscian families. As a sailor in England, McFee had passed by a large iron kettle placed on the dock where sailors threw in a few coins to help the less fortunate. He brought the idea to the U.S., and now the kettles are world-wide.
The last few years, anonymous donors have started dropping more than coins into the red kettles. At the end of November, a Minnesota kettle received $10,000 in cash from one donation.
Anyone wanting to be a kettle bell ringer can receive training from the Salvation Army, located on N.E. Stephens.

Casa de Belen
This Roseburg facility provides homeless families with a safe place. They have a mentor program where community members can share a skill (writing a resume, hair cutting, baking, grant writing, etc.), help with ongoing maintenance or landscaping or cleaning. Volunteers are needed to take Casa guests to appointments. They’re also looking for volunteers to engage youth through conversations, fun activities, art projects, games or field trips. A training program is available. To contact, call (541) 677-0073. Casa de Belen is located at 1199 N.E. Grandview Drive in Roseburg.

Christmas Angel Tree
The UCC cafeteria, Elmers, and three other locations around town are decorated with angel giving trees. Paper angel decorations on the tree designate a child’s name, age, clothing and shoe size with a wish list to help donors purchase a Christmas gift for that child. Anyone can pick an ornament and purchase a gift for that child and take it to the tree location or to the Salvation Army office located at 3130 N.E. Stephens in the Salvation Army church. Packages can be delivered Monday through Friday, 8 to 5 p.m.

Operation Homefront
This Portland-based program “assists military families during difficult financial times by providing food assistance, auto and home repair, vision care, travel and transport, moving assistance, essential home items and financial assistance.” Anyone can donate online at operationhomefront.net/waystogive. Donations can also be sent via mail to Operation Homefront, 7014 N.E. 79th Ct., Portland, OR 97218-2816.

Roseburg Rescue Mission
The rescue mission provides food, shelter and recovery care to men, women and children in need. Donations of clothing, furniture and household items can be made at their stores locally or brought to the dock behind their furniture store at 806 S.E. Pine Street. For more information, call (541) 673-3004.

Toys for Tots
This is a program of the United States Marine Corps reserve program which Roseburg firefighters run locally. They collect toys and money for under-privileged children. Donation boxes are placed at Roseburg fire departments, Bi-Mart, Wildlife Safari, O’Toole’s Pub and the Handsome and Smart tattoo parlor. The D.C. Farmer’s Co-op will also have a toy drive on Dec. 13.

Wounded Warriors Project
This national program aims to “foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history,” according to their website. The program helps wounded veterans to adjust mentally, physically, economically and socially.
The program is currenlty looking for “proud supporters” who will host their own fundraising campaigns. Student ambassadors and athlete sponsors are being sought to sponsor fundraising events. Tough Mudder, a 10 to 12 mile obstacle course challenge, for example, has raised over $6 million for WWP.