Shoebox project to help Native Americans

Friday, November 28, 2008

Star City Ranch owners Sheryl and Gaylen Taylor are asking Barry County residents to assist them in making the holiday season a little brighter for single mothers and children in Montana and South Dakota through the Shoeboxes for Native Americans project.

"(We) will be traveling to Montana and South Dakota in the next few weeks to deliver shoeboxes full of gifts and your contributions for needy children and their moms," said Sheryl. "These children aren't watching TV after homework. In fact, on the reservations, they have no indoor plumbing or electricity and sadly most of them have never heard of Jesus."

In addition to delivering shoeboxes full of gifts to children on several Native American reservations, the Taylors will stop at an orphanage and women's and children's homeless shelter during their trip.

"My husband and I are hoping to fill at least one trailer to carry all the donated shoeboxes and clothing to the children and their moms before Christmas," said Sheryl.

The Taylors are accepting items for boys and girls from infants to teenagers and their mothers. They encourage individuals to place a Christian message or gift in each shoebox.

Items needed include clothing, toys, toiletry items and shoes. New blankets, coats, shoes, gloves and non-perishable food items will be accepted also. Perishable items, fireworks, flammable items, used or broken items or anything that could be dangerous to children will not be accepted.

Gift boxes cannot be sealed, but individuals are encouraged to wrap the lids and box bottoms. Individuals should also include a note that specifies whether the giftbox is for a girl or a boy and what age the gifts are appropriate for.

"If you cannot get out and do the shopping, we will accept donations, purchase the items and deliver them to the kids and their families," said Sheryl.

Individuals and organizations interested in supporting Shoeboxes for Native Americans are asked to bring gift items and filled boxes to the Star City Ranch, east of Butterfield, by Friday, Nov. 28. Items can also be shipped to: Sheryl and Gaylen Taylor, Star City Ranch, 9457 Farm Road 1142, Purdy, MO 65734.

For more information, call 847-3000 or 417-669-0876.

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