WESTMINSTER — Last year, Neighbors in Need helped more than 750 county families during the holiday season, and more requests are expected this year dueto the ailing economy.
The county Chamber of Commerce has delivered large boxes wrapped in seasonal colors to area businesses for its annual sponsorship of the county Human Services' Neighbors in Need Program.
Chamber members and other area businesses have volunteered in record numbers this year to display the Neighbors in Need Community GiftCollection boxes to allow the public to donate gift items. Boxes will be in place through Dec. 12, when all donated items will be delivered to the Human Services Office.
The Human Services Program acts as a clearinghouse to coordinate the distribution of all donations, providing assistance to the needy in the most equitable manner.
Thisyear's gift list includes the following (new only, please): toys, school supply items, gifts for teens, children's books, watches, bracelets, jewelry for hair, cologne (men and women), tapes, earrings, pocket calculators, tube socks, books, mittens, hats, new clothing (any size), lap robes and board games.
Unwrapped gifts are preferred to allow for sorting and distributing by the HSP. Additionally, HSP accepts donations of food to be used to pack "Holiday Baskets" and welcomes volunteers, regardless of age, to assist in sorting and distributing the donated items.
Individuals willing to volunteer are asked to call 857-2999. Packing will begin Sunday, Dec. 15.
All donationsmay also be brought to HSP, 10 Distillery Drive, Westminster, or left at these businesses displaying Community Gift Collection boxes:
* Eldersburg/Sykesville/Winfield -- Carroll County Bank, 1438 LibertyRoad, and Fairhaven branch, 7200 Third Ave.; George's IGA, Route 26;Carroll County public library, 6400 W. Hemlock Drive; Laumann's Florist, Freedom Village Shopping Center; Westminster Bank & Trust, 1621 West Libery Road.
* Finksburg/Gamber -- Carroll County Bank, 3000 Gamber Road; George's IGA, Finksburg Shopping Plaza; Westminster Bank& Trust; 4007 Sykesville Road.
* Hampstead -- Carroll County Bank, 999 S. Main St.; Carroll County public library, 2255 Hanover Pike; Jeff Barnes Chevrolet, 1111 S. Main St.
* Manchester -- Carroll County Bank, 3200 Main St.; Westminster Bank & Trust, Route 27.
* Melrose -- Carroll County Bank, 4501 Hanover Pike.
* Mount Airy -- Carroll County Bank, 1001 Twin Arch Road; Mount Airy Bowling Lanes, Center Street.
* New Windsor -- New Windsor State Bank, 213 Main St.; New Windsor Service Center, 500 Main St.
* Taneytown -- Carroll County Bank, 4345 Old Taneytown Road; Carroll County public library, 10 Grand Drive.
* Westminster -- Avenue Tailor, 46 1/2 Pennsylvania Ave.; Carroll County Bank, 45 W. St. and 193 E. Main St.; Carroll Haven, 420 S. Bishop St.; Carroll Lutheran Village, St. Mark's Way; Carroll County public library, E. Main Street; The Carroll County Sun, 15 E. Main St., Winchester Exchange; The Carroll County Times, Railroad Avenue; Carroll County YMCA, 11 Longwell Ave.; Erol's Video Club, Westminster Shopping Center; Stewart N. Dutterer Florist, 114 Pennsylvania Ave. (after Thanksgiving); McLean, Koehler, Sparks & Hammond CPAs, 231 E. Main St.; Pearle Vision Center, Carroll Plaza Shopping Center; Union National Bank, 117 and 132 W. Main St.; Westminster Bank &Trust, 71 E. Main St.; Westminster Duplicating, 242 E. Main St.; Western Maryland College, Decker College Center.
If your business organization or company is interested in receiving a Neighbors in Need collection box, call Joyce Muller at 857-2292 during business hours.