Church collecting for seniors this holiday

SALEM–Fill a shoe box with new small gifts and bless a senior citizen’s Christmas morning.

That’s what Salt Life Church is asking people to do this year.

“We’re hoping the community helps us out. I know the gifts will be much appreciated,” Pastor Larry Paxson said.

Paxson saw the blessing boxes somewhere else and thought what a great idea. Then he thought why not try it in Salem?

His wife, Lynn, said they contacted the various nursing home facilities in Salem and compiled a list of seniors who don’t have anyone, including veterans in need. Imagine helping them experience the joy of opening gifts this Christmas.

“The men like new warm socks, the ladies love flavored chapstick,” she said.

Besides socks and chapstick, other ideas include slippers, large print materials, small gifts, hygiene items, non-perishable snacks or cookies.

Items should be placed in a plastic or cardboard shoe box, with the bottom and top wrapped separately with Christmas gift wrap. Boxes should be marked either for a lady, for a gentleman or gender neutral, then rubber band the top and bottom of the box together.

Boxes should be dropped off at The Attic Consignment and Resale Shop at 146 S. Broadway Ave. by 5 p.m. Dec. 23. Boxes will be delivered to the nursing homes on Christmas Eve.

Paxson said a lot of the facilities are planning to have Christmas morning and are having gift exchanges.

The goal is to get 100 to 125 boxes, but if they fall short, Paxson said they’ll make up the difference, but his hope is that the public will take part.

Paxson started the Salt Life Church earlier this summer, meeting at the Salem Twin Cinema on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. The Attic Consignment and Resale Shop opened Oct. 1, featuring furniture, household items and electronics.

Many churches have giving trees and programs for providing gifts to children and their families.

Paxson said this could be a project for people who don’t go to a church, providing them with an opportunity to give. Anyone is invited to participate.