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Operation Rudolph has begun collecting gifts for the youths in local communities.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Key Club member Kelly Huang shows one of the decorated boxes.Operation Rudolph has begun collecting gifts for the youths in local communities, who are needing some extra help to have a joyous Christmas.

Gifts are collected in large, decorated boxes placed in businesses where gifts can conveniently be dropped off. The gifts are then wrapped by local Madras High School Key Club members and other youth leaders, as well as a crew at Deer Ridge Correctional Institution. When everything has been wrapped and sorted, Kiwanis members deliver the gifts to local families.

Last year, 579 local youths received gifts through Operation Rudolph. This is a joint effort with Toys for Tots, Kiwanis, and Key Club. While the wrapping, sorting and delivery is done locally, many gifts are generously given by the Toys for Tots program to help meet the need in Jefferson County.

Businesses with donation boxes include Les Schwab, Bi-Mart, Mid Oregon Credit Union, Madras Aquatic Center, Chinook Place and St. Charles Madras. Monetary donations are also welcome, as gifts can then be purchased for specific youth gift needs.

If you want to make a monetary donation, send checks to: Kiwanis (put Operation Rudolph on memo line), P.O. Box 65, Madras. There are still a few boxes left to be placed. If you would like a decorated donation box to be placed in your business, or for more information, contact Kim Schmith at 541-980-6371.

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