By Martha Williams

It’s almost time.

How is your collection of shoeboxes for Samaritan’s Purse coming? My church will have a Packing Party this week to put donations together — some folks prefer to make complete boxes while others bring bunches of the various components and the ladies pack the boxes.

Grooming supplies, school supplies, hats, socks, small clothing articles — I like to put a T-shirt in — they don’t take much space, are sufficient for warm countries, and can provide added warmth under other shirts where it’s cold. Small games, puzzles, toys like dolls, stuffed animals, toy trucks and cars, jump ropes fit in nicely.

Just remember no toy guns, knives, or toy soldiers — nothing war-like. And if you’d like, a picture of yourself and a note to the child who will receive the box. And when you pack it, send up a prayer for the child who will receive it. When they get that box, they also get a booklet telling them about Jesus love for them in their own language.

A couple weeks ago, I went to Four Square Church to hear the young lady who received a shoebox in the former Soviet Union — she, and her little sister. It was such a confirmation that doing these boxes is the right thing to do. The drop-off center will again be Pelican Bay Evangelical Free Church, 160 Blueberry Lane.

You can take your completed boxes there from Monday (Nov. 12) thru Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and Nov.18 from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. The truck will be loaded Nov. 19 from 8 a.m.-10 a.m.

It’s quite the sight, all those boxes being loaded. Gifts for kids who likely have never had one, gifts that can make a difference not only for that child, but often will have an impact on the whole family.

Don’t forget — it’s time for those two great annual holiday sales at Grace Lutheran and Smith River Methodist churches.

Today is the second day for the one at Smith River, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be assorted baked and crafted goods, various treasures, and a homemade soup and bread lunch available. And, since last week’s column, there has been an addition-fresh produce from Ocean Air Farms.

Then at Grace, more of the same, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with an emphasis on some of the best pies you’ll ever eat. Twice I’ve had their pies — and they are wonderful. Again, there will be baked goods, handmade items, and a table of “white elephants.”

A luncheon of soup and bread will be available there, too. A quilt by the ladies will be raffled, and a print of Arlene Krogstad’s painting, “After The Storm.”

And a music note.

At Crescent City Methodist Church, there is a change in the music department. With a new choir director, Christie Lynn Rust, they have built it up, adding an expanded Bell Choir as well as the vocal.

Sunday at 7 p.m., they will sing a special song honoring our veterans. And they will be presenting a Christmas concert 7 p.m. Dec. 16.

To contact Martha Williams, call or text 707-460-3000, or email