CONTACT: Penny Ronning 406-579-9778 or Hans Abbey 406-671-6968
SUBJECT: Holiday Gift Boxes for Homeless Children in Billings
DATE: NOW – December 15, 2013
BOX COLLECTION SITE: Rock Creek Coffee Roasters 124 N. 28th St. Billings, MT
Did you know that on any given night, as many as 100 homeless youth in Billings are sleeping outside underneath bridges, in ‘camps’ near the river or inside a cave along the Rims? Billings School District 2 identified 503 homeless youth enrolled during the 2012 – 2013 school year. Tumbleweed’s Street Outreach Program identified an additional 150 homeless youth who were not enrolled in school.
Fashioned after Samaritan’s Purse’s Operation Christmas Child, OPERATION: Homefront is a local holiday gift project sponsored by Up with Billings!, a Billings Kiwanis satellite group.
Up with Billings!’ mission is to collect 500 individual shoeboxes with gifts for students identified by School District 2 and Tumbleweed Runaway Program as homeless or at risk.
The shoeboxes will be distributed the week of December 16, 2013 by School District 2 and Tumbleweed.
Please join OPERATION: Homefront and learn what a difference a shoebox can make!
Use an empty shoebox (standard size, please) or a small plastic container. Please wrap the box and lid separately with holiday paper.
BOY, GIRL or TEEN MALE, FEMALE
Determine whether your gift will be for a boy or a girl or a teen male or female and the child’s age category as listed below. Create a label designating the appropriate gender and age category and tape the label to the top of the wrapped lid of your box.
Primary Girl or Boy
K – 3rd Grade
Intermediate Girl or Boy
4th – 6th Grade
Early Teen Girl or Boy
7th – 8th Grade
High School Female or Male
9th – 12th Grade
FILL WITH GIFTS
Fill the box with a variety of gifts that will bring delight to a child or teen. Please include at least one item a child can immediately embrace such as a stuffed toy, doll, ball, or toy truck. Including a handwritten greeting is encouraged.
Place a rubber band or removable ribbon around each wrapped, closed shoebox and drop it off at Rock Creek Coffee Roasters by December 15, 2013. (Rock Creek Coffee Roaster is located at 124 N. 28th St. Billings, MT 59101)
School supplies: Pens, pencils, pencil sharpeners, notebooks, ink pads and rubber stamps, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, reading books, etc.
Toys: Small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, small Etch A-Sketch, toys that light up or make noise (with extra batteries), Slinky, etc.
Hygiene Items: Toothbrush, toothpaste, mild bar soap (in a plastic bag), comb, brush, wash cloth, etc.
Other: T-shirts, socks, gloves/mittens, winter hats/scarves, ball caps, sunglasses, hair clips, toy jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries), etc. Clothing items for winter weather are encouraged.
Age appropriate items for school, recreation, clothing, and hygiene products. Clothing items for winter weather are encouraged.
For All Boxes Do Not Include: Used or damaged items, war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; chocolate or food; out of date candy; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers; aerosol cans.