Enterprise Elks Lodge 1829 is partnering with more than a dozen organizations to help ensure that those in need will have a good Christmas meal and presents for children.
Food baskets are scaled to the size of the family, said Christmas Basket Program Chair Randy Morgan. “Food baskets containing a basic Christmas dinner are distributed throughout the community,” he said. “These basic dinners including a turkey, vegetables, rolls, butter, stuffing mix, fruit and some presents for juvenile children.”
Individuals and families must complete a form to receive a basket. The form appears in this edition of the Chieftain. Forms also are available at Community Connection, Building Healthy Families, Wallowa City
Hall, Enterprise City Hall, Joseph City Hall, Lostine City Hall and the Wallowa County Justice Center.
The form will also be listed on the Tree of Giving and Elks Christmas Basket Facebook page.
Morgan said individuals should include all the information requested on the form, so there will be no mistakes on delivery day, Saturday, Dec. 22, commencing at approximately 8:30 a.m.
Baskets will be wrapped beginning Dec. 17 by the VFW Ladies Auxiliary, and the baskets will then be marked and sorted by family size and city on Tuesday, Dec. 18. They will then be loaded for delivery on Dec. 19-21. The Elks hope to be delivering out of the Elks building, in which restoration has begun, Morgan said.
Any individuals, couples, families or organizations and clubs are welcome to come down and help with prepping the baskets or help with the deliveries, Morgan said.
Monetary donations to the Elks Christmas Basket program can be sent to Elks, BPOE 1829, P.O. Box K, Enterprise, OR 97828.
The Tree of Giving project runs simultaneously, organized by Department of Youth Services employees Mandy Decker and Amy Stangel and Enterprise City Administrator Lacey McQuead.
The names of children up to age 17, and special gifts for seniors living alone, are collected and put in the Christmas baskets, to be delivered with their meal.
People who wish to receive a basket should have their form turned in by Friday, Nov. 16. These forms may be turned in to Enterprise, Joseph, Lostine, and Wallowa city halls, the Wallowa County Sheriff Office or mailed to the Enterprise Elks.
For this year’s Tree of Giving, all children from the same family will be listed on one tag instead of separate tags for each child. The hope is to ensure that gifts are more equitable for each child in the same family.
The Tree of Giving will be set up in the Enterprise Flower Shop Nov. 16, and names (not their real names), ages and gift suggestions are written on the tree ornaments. Anyone can stop in and choose a tag or choose a family tag from the tree and provide a gift.
Your gift should be unwrapped and in a gift bag with the appropriate tag attached to the gift. This is to make sure the right gift gets to the right people. The last day to get your present to the tree is Friday, Dec. 14.
Morgan said residents of Wallowa County are exceedingly generous in supporting the programs.
“Every year, organizations throughout the valley, from 4-H and FFCLA to the VFW, Granges, churches and public organizations as well as individuals contribute in many ways,” Morgan said. “These organizations and local residents donate food, arrange food drives, help wrap gifts and deliver the goodies.”