Foothills, Molalla Christian, Nazarene and St. Vincent de Paul all are helping families

In a sampling of Molalla Churches, people can find a dedication to help others, and often it's not just for Christmas. Most give food boxes monthly or bi-weekly.

But because it's that time of year, the Pioneer decided to check out donations and what they look like.

First, Foothills Church offers a Holiday Blessing Box. This year plans are to provide for 200 families for a Christmas meal as well as a regular food box and two gifts for each child in the family. Anyone can help sign up and provide gifts and food including a turkey or a ham. Some of the donations come from Toy & Joy Makers and Les Schwab Tires as well as the Molalla Fire Department.

The church also hopes to raise $50,000 to buy 200 stoves in Guatemala where the church sponsors school for four children. People who've gone on missions to Guatemala note that the families cook in their homes and often have to live with the smoke and byproducts. The stoves Foothills buys are brick with venting pipes that clear away the smoke allowing cleaner air. Two weeks before Christmas they had collected enough money for 53 stoves.

The Blessing Boxes were handed out on Dec. 15, and true to form people arrived that hadn't signed up but there were extras for them.

Molalla's Christian Church provides monthly food boxes, said Carol Jours, who handles the food pantry. She's been with the group of women for 11 years. "We give people a hand up instead of a handout," she told the Pioneer.

During those years the group has built their own pantry in an 8 x 8 room with shelves for non-perishables and cans, cold storage for meat and dairy and an area for produce. A box is given out once per month and people can come in and shop or it can be delivered. This month people will get a chicken if they are a small family; a turkey breast for a medium family; and a turkey or ham for a large family.

All of the food comes from Oregon's Food Bank in Portland, said Jours.

Small families of one to three people receive about 45 pounds of food, that mixture can will include beef or pork—besides the chicken, potatoes, carrots, onions, pears and/or apples, maybe even celery and at least one loaf of bread. That box size will go to about 60-75 families. Other families will get larger sizes.

Also at Christmas people who need help will give church leaders cards that will provide things like blankets, crib and baby items and kitchen items such as measuring cups and even potato peelers, said Jours.

The Molalla First Church of the Nazarene works with the Salvation Army to support the Angel Tree to provide gifts to children whose parent or parents are incarcerated. People can provide to provide children with gifts from their incarcerated parents along with a note from their parent. Donations can be doubled and thus help more than one child.

Roy Saovetti from St. Vincent de Paul noted that St. James Church in Molalla puts up a giving tree just before Thanksgiving for Molalla and Mulino parishioners to pick out presents for children. Cards list clothes sizes and specific unwrapped gifts and bring their donations back to the church along with the cards. Saovetti has received Toy & Joy Makers' gifts for the past 30 years.

These are passed out the third Tuesday of the month, the same time food boxes are delivered or picked up. Saovetti notes besides the monthly food boxes, they also help residents pay their utility bills so they don't get cut off.

Carol Rosen
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