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SHARE Needs New Gifts for Christmas Store on Dec. 12

SHARE, McLean’s volunteer organization that supports families in financial hardship, collected donated food for Thanksgiving baskets on Saturday, distributing them throughout the day to clients referred from social services agencies.

Boys Scouts from Troop 652, St. Dunstan’s, and other volunteers helped assemble the baskets at McLean Baptist Church as Nancy Schwartz, the food drive chairman, tracked their distribution.

A room at the church that was given over to the effort was busy with the sound of purpose, as volunteers made sure each basket had a frozen turkey and all the trimmings.

Next on SHARE’s calendar is its Christmas shop, which will handle only new, unwrapped items this year, said Jean Respass, the chairman.

During the Museum Shops at the McLean Community Center on Nov. 28, 29, and 30, a box will be set aside in the lobby to accept donated items for share.

Gifts are needed for all ages; men, women, teenagers, children, toddlers and infants. SHARE organizers hope that visitors to the Museum Shops will remember to buy a gift for a needy family, too.

Gifts, new clothing and small appliances for SHARE’s Christmas shop will also be accepted at McLean Baptist Church on Chain Bridge Road from 8 a.m. to noon on Friday, Dec. 12.

From 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 13, selected families will be invited to visit the shop and choose gifts for their family members from the donated items.

For adolescents, gift certificates to local stores such as Target, Wal-Mart, Old Navy, and Tysons Corner are ideal because they allow teenagers to shop without the stigma of being a recipient of charity.

Tysons Corner offers gift certificates redeemable at any store in the mall.

Gifts should be new, in the original packaging, but not gift-wrapped. However, donated gift-wrap and ribbon is appreciated, she said.

McLean Baptist Church provides a large hall where the items are displayed on tables as clients come at appointed times to “shop” for gifts for their loved ones, or to fill needs they have at home. Volunteers help to find special gifts for everyone in the family.

SHARE gets financial support from churches, 70 percent; individuals, 14 percent, and civic organizations, 15 percent.

Throughout the year, SHARE also receives donations of furniture, clothing, and food that are distributed to needy and displaced families, many of them single families with children.

Most clients are referred to SHARE by Fairfax County’s Department of Human Development or Northern Virginia Family Services.

For more information, call 703-284-2179 and a SHARE volunteer will contact you. To donate or request furniture, call 703-448-1054.