LIFT-UP donations help

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Peanut butter, spaghetti noodles and sauce, chicken noodle soup, macaroni and cheese.

Those foods are some of the most popular that LIFT-UP of Routt County gives to families and individuals in need across the county.

With the holiday season and the chill of winter here, LIFT-UP is asking residents to keep the donations coming.

"It's a big time in general," LIFT-UP Executive Director David Freseman said. "It's a very heavy time for clients needing food. Part of it is due to the holidays ... but a lot of it's due to the seasonal work force that comes in right now, and they're struggling as they start up their jobs."

Many food drives typically are held this time of year, but residents also can bring donations directly to the LIFT-UP food bank.

In addition to food, LIFT-UP is short on toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo and other relatively expensive items needed for basic personal hygiene, Freseman said.

"It all kind of fits together to help the total person's need," he said.

Filling that "total need" is exactly what LIFT-UP aims to do.

"LIFT-UP continues to want to serve the needs of anyone that demonstrates a need for food, shelter and heat in the county," Freseman said. "That's what we're here for."

At the LIFT-UP donation center, residents can make donations of clothing and other household items, which then are sold for a low cost at the LIFT-UP thrift store.

Although the organization is not holding a coat drive this year, Freseman said that anyone who needs a good, warm winter coat should come into the thrift store to buy one for a low price. LIFT-UP will give vouchers to anyone who cannot afford even that low cost, he said.

"We want to make sure everybody, adults and children, are clothed warmly," Freseman said.

Last year, LIFT-UP helped people by distributing more than $173,000 worth of food and clothing donations, as well as through emergency assistance funding.

Through grants and donations, LIFT-UP can help people in emergencies by doing things such as paying a month's rent or utilities, helping with the cost of medical and dental bills, buying medication and more.

This time of year, helping people pay their utility bills can be especially important, as days and nights get bitter cold. Making sure that people don't get evicted from their homes because they miss a month or two of rent also is critical, Freseman said.

The LIFT-UP food bank, at 325 Seventh St., is open from 1 to 5 p.m. weekdays. The thrift store, at 718 Oak St., is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays. The donation center, at 1744 Lincoln Ave., is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

The South Routt Food Bank, at 106 Moffat Ave. in Oak Creek, is open from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday and from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, and the Hayden Emergency Assistance, at 150 Jackson St., is open from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday and from 8 a.m. to noon Wednesday

All gifts are tax deductible.

-- To reach Susan Cunningham, call 871-4203 or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com

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