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Send announcements, which are open to the public at no or minimal cost, to The Loudoun Connection, 7913 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102 or e-mail to loudoun@connectionnewspapers.com. Deadline is Friday, two weeks before the event. Photos/artwork encouraged. For more information, call Jennifer Lesinski at 703-917-6454. For additional listings, visit www.connectionnewspapers.com.

Cypher Chiropractic, 22636 Glenn St., Suite 204, Sterling, will be accepting Toys for Tots donations. Call 703-481-9698.

Our Savior's Way Lutheran Church, at the intersection of Waxpool Road and Claiborne Parkway, will be participating as a collection point for Christmas and holiday decorations by the Community Holiday Coalition of Loudoun County for families in need. The Community Holiday Coalition is seeking new or used decorations, lights, gift tags, wrapping paper, and trees — artificial only. Drop off decorations at Our Savior's Way until Dec. 10. Call Holiday Coalition 703-771-5718 or 703-669-8626 or Our Savior's Way Lutheran Church at 703-858-5330.

Loudoun County Animal Care & Control is proud to announces it is hosting a Pet Pantry to provide donated pet food and supplies to families in need during the holiday season. Families who are picking up food, clothes and toys at the Holiday Coalition Store will also be able to visit the Pet Pantry for pet food and supplies. The Loudoun County Animal Shelter is accepting donations of unopened pet food, treats and new or gently used toys through Dec. 17. Cat and small animal food is in especially high demand. The Community Holiday Coalition’s Christmas Store is happening Dec. 13-18 at the Dulles Trade Center in Sterling. Visit www.loudoun.gov/animals.

The Loudoun County Fire/Rescue System and the Loudoun Career Fire Fighters Association announce their participation in the 60th Annual Toys for Tots Campaign, sponsored by the United States Marine Corps Reserve. Through Dec. 21, fire and rescue stations throughout the county will be collecting new, unwrapped toys; they will not accept any toys that resemble weapons. Contact the department's Toys for Tots coordinator, Lt. Nicole Hankin, at 703-737-8011 or the Toys for Tots campaign at www.toysfortots.org.

The 25th annual Neediest Kids Food Drive continues through Friday, Dec. 21. The drop-off locations are located in all 140 Safeway grocery stores throughout Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia. All food donated will benefit feeding organizations that serve the community nearest the store.

The Loudoun Continuum of Care, in conjunction with the Loudoun County Department of Family Services, the Loudoun County Division of Mental Health, and a number of faith-based and nonprofit organizations, will open its emergency winter shelter Thursday, Nov. 15. The purpose of the program is to provide an emergency overnight shelter for adults age 18 and over to prevent hypothermia-related health problems or injury. The program will provide shelter nightly through March 31, 2008.

Individuals do not need a referral to use the shelter. They simply need to be at the designated bus stop by 9:30 p.m. any night between through March 31. Transportation will be provided to and from the shelter for all persons in need of the program. The bus stop will be at the Shenandoah Office Building, 102 Heritage Way, N.E., in Leesburg.

The Salvation Army of Loudoun County, under contract with the Loudoun County government, will staff the shelter and oversee day-to-day operation of the program. Additional information can be obtained at the following phone numbers:

703-771-3371: Mondays-Fridays, from 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

571-436-1506: after 4:30 p.m. and on weekends.

During the month of December, the Youth Music Preservation and Promotion Association will hold an instrument drive to provide instruments to many underprivileged and low-income students. There is a need for all orchestra instruments and music accessories. Contact Youth Music at info@ymppa.org or 703-728-2589 for information on how to donate. All donations are tax deductible.

The 2007 Christmas in the Loudoun Valleys guide to trees, greens and holiday floral products, featuring more than two dozen Loudoun County farms and businesses where you can purchase Christmas trees, wreaths, swags and seasonal gifts is available at the Loudoun Convention and Visitors Association in Leesburg, Loudoun County libraries and community centers. To have a brochure mailed, call the Department of Economic Development at 703-777-0426. Visit www.LoudounFarms.org.