The Shell Knob Alliance of Churches is currently collecting donations for its 2011 Share Your Christmas effort. The program will benefit around 60 children this year.
"We have a lot of people who are underemployed and struggling," said Melba Eakin, Shell Knob Alliance of Churches president. "This program gives the community an opportunity to share in the spirit of Christmas."
The effort will benefit families in need who live within the Shell Knob zip code. Children must attend the Blue Eye, Cassville or Shell Knob school districts.
Funds donated to the 2011 Shell Knob Share Your Christmas effort will be used to purchase food for a holiday Christmas basket, clothing and gifts for participating families. Baskets and gifts will be distributed to families at the Central Community United Methodist Church in Shell Knob on Dec. 14.
"The Alliance prefers to receive monetary donations rather than gifts," said Eakin. "We work to match up the families with their requests, and the parents usually ask for specific sizes and items for children of certain ages.
"We also give each family a food basket full of everything needed for Christmas day, including eggs, milk and juice," said Eakin. "Each basket also includes a ham, canned vegetables, bread and other items. This is a big undertaking."
Monetary donations for the Shell Knob Share Your Christmas effort can be sent to: Shell Knob Alliance of Churches, P.O. Box 712, Shell Knob MO 65747.
Donations are accepted throughout the year. In addition to offering the Share Your Christmas program, the Shell Knob Alliance of Churches provides clothing and school supplies for local families in need through its annual back-to-school effort.
The Shell Knob Share Your Christmas program was started nearly 30 years ago by alliance member Charlie Weston.
For more information, call 417-858-6050.