- Share The Spirit
Share The Spirit
Rogers County residents are asked to Share the Spirit this Holiday Season
Holiday traditions call for a feast with loved ones, but for many, it can be a struggle to put food on the table. Experts estimate for the 2020 holiday season an unprecedented 56 million Americans could go hungry. In Rogers County, that number is expected to exceed 12,000.
Share the Spirit, a local non-profit dedicated to fighting hunger, is asking the community to rally together and help those less fortunate. In 2019, the organization provided nearly 800 families with Christmas dinner baskets. This year, Share the Spirit recognizes the need is much greater and has set a donation goal of $20,000 to help feed Rogers County families. Donations help purchase items needed for a complete holiday meal, including a turkey or ham.
“We are a week and a half away and collections are currently down,” said Rob Delozier, president, Share the Spirit. “We rely on the donations from our community and our neighbors to help meet the needs,” said Delozier.
“We’ve been doing this since 1987; on average we distribute 700-750 baskets to anyone in need in Rogers County. All you have to do is ask,” said Delozier. “We set up collection points in Claremore, Chelsea, Oologah, and Inola. Sign-ups are typically at DHS offices, but this year they are online,” Delozier said.
Share the Spirit organizers are holding their final in-person signup on Friday, Dec. 11 at the Rogers County Building from 2 - 7 p.m. For anyone that misses signups, contact Share the Spirit directly to arrange for pickup at their warehouse.
The City of Claremore is also seeking to spread cheer with their annual Toy and Food Drive. Set up at the Claremore Expo Center, organizers are accepting non-perishable food items and toys to benefit the local Toys for Tots chapter.
“Toys for Tots is estimating more than 2,500 children will be in need of toys this year,” said Tanya Andrews, director, Visit Claremore. “Given COVID-19 and the high rate of unemployment, the goal this year is to give more than one toy to each child. This means collecting between 10,000 and 15,000 toys,” said Andrews.
Toys for Tots asks that all donated toys are new, unwrapped, and suitable for children ages newborn to 18 years. When asked which age group lacks the most donations, older children are more likely to go without gifts. “Organizers tell us the harder items to get are for older kids -15 years and older,” said Andrews. “Generally, the older age groups request gifts that are more costly; therefore, this group suffers,” says Andrews.
With the magic of the season in the air, organizers are hopeful the generous spirit of our community prevails.
Share the Spirit
If you or a loved one face hunger this holiday season, simply contact Share the Spirit. Baskets are free to residents of Rogers County.
Toys for Tots
For families in need of a gift, parents may show up at the Claremore VFW Post #2976, 1717 W. Dupont, across from the Claremore Expo Center. Distribution dates are two days only - Friday, Dec. 18th and Saturday, Dec.19th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is no sign-up and you do not have to call ahead.
To qualify, parents/guardians must bring a photo ID and proof your family receives assistance for each child in need. One parent/guardian will be allowed to enter the building, children are not permitted. Masks and social distancing are strongly recommended.
Ways to Get Involved:
Share the Spirit
Donations can be made in person at the Claremore Daily Progress located at 315 W. Will Rogers Blvd. You may send donations by mail to P.O. Box 248, Claremore, OK 74018-0248. Please make checks payable to Share the Spirit, Inc. You may also submit a donation through PayPal to Share the Spirit Inc. at https://bit.ly/2PCxdTt.
Toys for Tots
You may drop items off at the Claremore Expo Center located at 400 Veterans Parkway, Claremore, OK 74017 now through 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11th. Toys should be new, unwrapped, and suitable for children ages newborn to 18.
For inquiries or for more information about the City’s Toy and Food Drive, please contact Tanya Andrews at firstname.lastname@example.org