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Applications for Christmas Store available

Oxford Christmas Store, a community effort to share the joys of Christmas with the children of Oxford and Lafayette County, is preparing for its 41st year of service.

Again this year, the Rotary Club of Oxford-Ole Miss is teaming with the Interfaith Compassion Ministry to provide toys and books for eligible children in the community who might not otherwise have Christmas.

Applications are now available at the Oxford Housing Authority office at CB Webb apartments.

Applicants are requested to present the following items along with completed applications: proof of total household income, a picture ID and Social Security card or birth certificate for each child.

The deadline for applications is Oct. 24 by 5 p.m.

Applications are received from schools, churches and the Interfaith Compassion Ministry for children up to age 14 who qualify. Only one form per family should be completed. Families eligible to participate will be notified by mail so it is important to provide a valid mailing address and phone number on the application.

“Rotarians and the Oxford community want to make sure we reach families who may have trouble giving their children Christmas gifts with the many financial obligations families face during this time,” said Larry Brookhart with the Oxford-Ole Miss Rotary.

The Christmas Store also provides an opportunity each year for Rotary to encourage kids to enjoy reading. Families may select two new age-appropriate books for each child on the day toy bags are picked up, and also take advantage of registering with our Literacy Council for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library enabling eligible children to receive a free book monthly until age 5.

“Toys and books are purchased from donations made by the community,” Brookhart said. “The reward for these volunteer efforts comes on distribution day, seeing the happy faces of parents and knowing that we are helping to meet an important need in our community.”

Monetary donations may be made to The Christmas Store, P.O. Box 1686 in Oxford or online at oxford-olemissrotary.com  New toy donations may be dropped off during November at Interfaith Compassion Ministry, 904 N. Lamar Blvd. or at the Rebel Bookstore, 818 Jackson Ave.