Applications for Custer County residents who need assistance to ensure a cheerful Christmas are now available at Wells Fargo Bank in Challis through the Helping Hands program.

Completed applications must be returned to the bank by Friday, Nov. 16.

People who want to donate the Christmas gifts that will be distributed by Helping Hands volunteers may select gift tags from trees inside Wells Fargo Bank or in the ATM area at East Idaho Credit Union. Tags list a gift item for a child. People then purchase that item and return the gift, unwrapped, to the Salmon River Electric Co-op office in Challis by Friday, Dec. 7.

In addition to Christmas gifts, families receive a dinner food box. Donations of non-perishable food for those dinner boxes are being accepted by Helping Hands volunteers. To donate food, contact Wendy Rodgers at 208-879-4626 or Betsy Doughty at 208-879-2246. Adults without children who need a Christmas dinner box may call either Rodgers or Doughty.

Cash donations for the program may be made to Custer County Helping Hands at East Idaho Credit Union or mailed to P.O. Box 864, Challis, ID 83226. Organizations, churches or businesses that want to sponsor a family should call Gwen Haslam at 208-879-6837. Haslam can also answer general questions about the program.

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