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Sharing Families readies for new season, sets up Facebook page

As a holiday program active in the River Falls community for nearly three decades gears up for its 2017 season, it has established a Facebook page.

Updates will be posted on the page: RF Sharing Families as well as in the River Falls Journal and on the newspaper's website.

The program will still be based at the Journal office in the Whitetail Ridge Corporate Park, and Sharing Families will use the same email address and telephone number as last year. They are rfsharingfamilies@gmail.com and 715-426-1054.

During their Oct. 6 planning meeting, Sharing Families board members agreed the program will again aim to help 50 local families by giving them Christmas gifts and groceries. This is the same goal set for many years.

The program will again provide $125 grocery packages to each family plus extra $25 grocery gift certificates to families with five or more people.

There will be drop-off boxes at local banks for donations of money. Checks may also be mailed to Sharing Families, P.O. Box 701, River Falls, WI 54022.

Donors are asked to bring gifts and clothing to the River Falls Journal, 2815 Prairie Drive.

Plans are to publish the first family profiles before Thanksgiving. The deadline for bringing in gifts will be noon Thursday, Dec. 14. Gifts will be distributed Dec. 19-21.

The River Falls Journal began the Sharing Families program in 1988 and will still serve as the drop-off site for donations and the pick-up site for recipients.

Sharing Families is incorporated as a non-profit corporation and is run by a volunteer board of directors. Contributions are tax deductible. Receipts are available.

Members of the board of directors are Bonnie Carroll, Dalene Crandall, Steve Dzubay, Pam Herink, Roger Leque, Maureen Paulson, Rosalie Walker and Judy Wiff.

The project operates in cooperation with volunteers from Angels on Earth Giving Tree (formerly the Ecumenical Giving Tree Program) who screen the applicants.

Profiles of the recipient families and their needs will be available starting mid-November.

Persons willing to help may:

• Make a donation of money to buy food, toys and clothing. (No cash will be given to families.)

• Sponsor a child or family by buying the items they have requested. Those who decide to do that are asked to call 715-426- 1054. Employee groups, students and service groups often "adopt" families, buying gifts and clothing for each family member.

• Cash donations may be mailed to Sharing Families, dropped off at a participating bank (Those will be identified by Nov. 1.) or brought to the Journal office between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

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