As the holiday season approaches, the giving season has begun. Some local residents may not have enough food or may not be receiving a gift for this season, so helping agencies have begun their efforts to see that everyone has a happy holiday season.

Thanksgiving dinners

Salida Community Thanksgiving Dinner is from noon to 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day at St. Joseph Parish Center, 340 E. Fifth St.

The dinner is free, but any size monetary donation is welcome. Everyone is invited.

Volunteers are needed and donations of pies would be much appreciated. Anyone who can help should call Lu at 719-221-2855.

Those needing a dinner delivered on Thanksgiving Day can call Keith at 719-221-5399 and leave a detailed message. Last date to call for a delivered meal is Nov. 25.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 1166, 27318 CR 314 in Buena Vista, is serving a free Thanksgiving dinner from 1 to 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

St. Rose of Lima Church, 118 S. Gunnison Ave. in Buena Vista, is having a free Thanksgiving dinner from noon to 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Call 719-395-8424 to advise how many are in your party.

Food pantries

The Grainery Ministries, 1348 E St. in Salida, is having a Thanksgiving box food giveaway from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Monday. Similar giveaways are planned from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays and Fridays up until Christmas. Dates are Dec. 13, 16, 20 and 23.

First Presbyterian Church food pantry is open every Thursday (except Thanksgiving) from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Recipients are asked to provide some basic information and can then come in once a month to pick up preboxed food based on family size. Breads, meats, vegetables and other items are also available.

Giving trees

Baba’s Magical Christmas is sponsoring downtown giving trees at Kaleidoscope Toys, The Book Haven, Salida Mountain Sports, Corvus Clothing and Curiosities and The Little Red Tricycle.

These trees are focused on Salida students from the Early Childhood Center through high school.

Gifts wanted are listed on cards on the tree. Gifts stay at the store and volunteers wrap them and deliver them the week before Christmas.

While Tree of Hope, listed below, and Baba’s don’t work together, they do coordinate efforts to make sure everyone is taken care of.

Tree of Hope, sponsored by High Country Bank, provides gifts for families in need. Trees are put up the day before Thanksgiving at Walmart, Safeway, High Country Bank’s U.S. 50 location in Salida and High Country Bank in Buena Vista and the day after Thanksgiving at Columbine Manor Care Center.

Identities of recipients are coded so no names are mentioned. Information on who needs gifts is provided by Chaffee County, Salida School District, Columbine Manor and Salida Housing Authority.

Gifts can be taken to The Mountain Mail and High Country Bank in Buena Vista and High Country Bank on U.S. 50 in Salida, and they are due Dec. 11.

Volunteers handle all aspects of the program and make sure everything on the list has been purchased. If not, High Country Bank purchases the rest of the items.

For those who would like to help but don’t want to go shopping, financial donations are welcome and can be made at the account for Tree of Hope at High Country Bank.

Holiday cheer

For a $20 contribution, the Adopt a Grandparent program at Columbine Manor provides an opportunity to provide a gift of lotions, socks, holiday goodies and other items at the holiday party for residents. To participate, contact Barbara Pearson-Sawyer at 719-207-3884 or drop off cash or check at the 7385 U.S. 50 office of First Colorado Land Office.

Salida Elks Lodge No. 808, 148 E. Second St., will serve a senior citizen dinner and fun event at 5 p.m. Dec. 20.

The evening starts with bingo and includes a chicken fried steak dinner and dessert.

Everyone will receive a gift, holiday music and great company. Those planning to attend should RSVP at 719-539-6976 so there is enough food. The dinner is provided by an Elks National Foundation grant of $2,500.


Salida Elks Lodge No. 808 Christmas Basket program and toy distribution is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 13 and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 14 at the lodge at 148 E. Second St.

To receive a basket, applications are available at Walmart and Chaffee County Department of Human Services in the Touber Building at 448 E. First St. Applications should be turned in by Dec. 9. This help is available for anyone in need.

For anyone who is unable to pick up an application or a basket, delivery is available.

Age-appropriate toys, including bicycles, are available for children.

Christmas dinner

Salida’s annual free Community Christmas Dinner is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Christmas Day at the Salida Community Center, 305 F St. Everyone is welcome. Financial help for this dinner is greatly appreciated and checks can be taken or sent to the Salida Community Center.

Other assistance

For help in a crisis such as suicide ideation, substance abuse and/or depression, Solvista Behavioral Health advises to call the Colorado Crisis Line at 844-493-8255.

Need help with heating this winter? For information call LEAP (Low Income Energy Assistance Program) at 1-888-775- 5327.

The Alliance in Chaffee County provides crisis intervention, support and emergency shelter for women and men suffering from domestic violence. Services are free and confidential. Call 719-539-7347. Help is available 24/7.

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