Drop-off sites open for Operation Christmas Child

JONESBORO — For those who are including Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts as part of their holiday, more than 4,000 drop-off sites are open through Monday.

Shoebox gifts prepared by generous donors and filled with toys, hygiene items, and school supplies may be dropped off. Operation Christmas Child is a project everyone can still be part of, even with COVID-19 restrictions. The Samaritan’s Purse project partners with local churches across the globe to deliver these tangible expressions of God’s love to children in need.

In Jonesboro, donations are being taken from 1-3 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday at Central Baptist Church, 3707 Harrisburg Road.

Other area locations and drop-off times include the following:

9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 6-7 p.m. today; and 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday at Free Will Baptist Church, 2835 Arkansas 62 West, Pocahontas.

noon to 2 p.m. today and 8-10 a.m. Monday at Jacksonport Baptist Church, 300 Dillard St.

1-3 p.m. today and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday at Greene County Baptist Association, 2501 Linwood Drive, Paragould.

2-4 p.m. today and 9 a.m. to noon Monday at Calvary Baptist Church, 503 S. Illinois St., Harrisburg.

For more information regarding how to fill a shoebox and COVID-19 updates, visit samaritanspurse.org/ operation-christmas-child.

Upcoming blood drives set

JONESBORO — As the U.S. experiences a new surge in COVID-19 cases, the American Red Cross is becoming increasingly concerned about the nation’s blood supply – including convalescent plasma.

A convalescent plasma donation collects plasma from COVID-19 survivors because antibodies to the disease in their blood may help patients who are currently fighting the virus. Increased hospitalization of patients with coronavirus this fall and winter has caused the Red Cross to distribute a record number of COVID-19 plasma products to hospitals treating patients who are battling the virus.

Blood drives scheduled:

Monday – noon to 4 p.m. at Gazaway Lumber Company, 2620 W. Kingshighway, Paragould; 1-5 p.m. at St. Bernard Medical Center, 225 E. Washington Ave., Jonesboro; 2-6 p.m. at Sutton Free Will Baptist Church, 5421 U.S. 62, Pocahontas.

Tuesday – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Arkansas Methodist Medical Center, 317 S. 10th St., Paragould.

Donations are accepted daily at the Jonesboro Blood Donation Center, 1904-A Grant St. Appointments to donate blood can be made by downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-733-2767 or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

Thanksgiving message set for LionsJONESBORO — The Jonesboro University Heights Lions Club meeting will feature Tuesday a Thanksgiving message from the Rev. John Hiegel, a club member.

The meeting will be held at 7 a.m. Tuesday via the Zoom conference call system only. Anyone interested in the program can get a Zoom login link prior to the meeting by asking for the link from Lion Norman Dickson at ndickson9400@gmail.com or from any club member.

Volunteers needed for red kettles, Angel Trees

JONESBORO — While Salvation Army red kettles and Angel Trees are being set up, volunteers are needed to ensure the community experiences the joys of Christmas.

The Salvation Army needs volunteer bell ringers from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays until Dec. 24.

The annual Red Kettle Campaign is one of the organization’s primary fundraising efforts of the year. Every dollar collected in the red kettles supports the wide range of services and programs provided throughout the year right here in Jonesboro, including feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, offering emergency financial assistance and providing toys to disadvantaged children.

In Jonesboro, red kettles are set up at the following locations:

Bill’s Fresh Market, 4225 Stadium Blvd. and 3605 E. Johnson Ave.

Dillard’s, 3000 E. Highland Drive.

FoodSmart, 2819 E. Nettleton Ave. and 1000 S. Gee St.

Harps, 203 W. Highland Drive.

Hobby Lobby, 1843 E. Highland Drive.

JCPenney, 3000 E. Highland Drive.

Kroger, 1525 S. Caraway Road.

Through the generous support of community donors, The Salvation Army will provide gifts for Jonesboro children this year. It is seeking volunteers to help manage Angel Tree locations at area Walmart and Kroger stores, as well as local churches and businesses; and later help sort and distribute gifts to program participants.

Volunteers can sign up online to ring a bell at registertoring.com. For Angel Tree and other volunteer opportunities, call The Salvation Army at 870-932-3785.

To make a donation, visit rescueChristmas.org.

Caregiver support groups offered

St. Bernards Total Healthcare will offer caregiver support group meetings for those caring for an aging parent or loved one.

The meetings are scheduled at 2 p.m. Dec. 1, and 5 p.m. Dec. 3 at 505 E. Matthews Ave., Jonesboro. To sign up for a meeting, call 870-207-7500.