Operation Christmas, a service that helps those in need within the community, starts Friday, Dec. 7 and goes until Dec. 21 at Bethel Butikk, 341 Black River Ave. Westby, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. each day.
Volunteers are working hard to accept donations. “New toys, used toys that work,” Pastor Gary Daines said. Bethel Butikk will not be accepting any summer clothing donations, but winter clothes and good household items are encouraged. “Sorting rooms are used for the voucher stuff,” Daines said.
A $10 voucher will be available to those who are eligible. “(There are) two rooms of mark downs. (If they) don’t find what they like they can use (it) around the store,” Daines said. The mark down rooms have items for community members of all ages. Individuals who are at the state established poverty level for Vernon County are eligible. “At 185 percent of the poverty level for our county, (we) do not require proof of income,” Daines said.
The Operation Christmas schedule will be dictated by the first letter of your last name. You may pick up Christmas presents on that day or any day after until Dec. 21, you may only pick up gifts on one day.
The 2018 schedule is as follows, Dec. 7: P or Q; Dec. 10: R or S; Dec. 11: T or U; Dec. 12: V, W, X, Y, or Z; Dec. 13: A or B; Dec. 14: C or D; Dec. 17: E or F; Dec. 18: G or H; Dec. 19: I, J, or K; Dec. 20: L or M; Dec. 21: N or O. The schedule rotates from year to year. Those whose last name is assigned to pick up on the last day, will be able to pick up presents on the first day next year.
On Dec. 24, Bethel Butikk will be open from 10 a.m. to noon. The store and food pantry will be closed Dec. 25-26.
The food pantry will be open its regular schedule but does not use the $10 voucher. “Dependent on family size, they get to pick,” Daines said.
Donations to the food pantry are accepted at all times except on Dec. 25-26. Food pantry volunteers work hard sorting groceries during their shifts. “We go through about 12,000 cans a month,” Daines said.
For the year 2017, 1,104 people were served during Operation Christmas, giving out a total of $220,800 worth of items. This is the 14th year of Operation Christmas at Bethel Butikk.
Bethel Butikk can be reached at 608-634-3473 for any questions.