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West Side Church will be depot for 'Gift of Heart' kits

By Erin O'Connor

Staff Writer

WEST SPRINGFIELD The Mittineague Congregational Church United Church of Christ is serving as drop-off depot from May 8 until May 12 for "Gift of the Heart" kits.

The kits are assembled by organizations in the area that include churches, women's groups, and Girl Scout troops. They are then brought to the Church to be picked up.

Large tractor trailer trucks from Church World Service will arrive late on May 15 to pick up the kits.

Church World Service orchestrates the nationwide charity event and carries out the giving of the kits to the beneficiaries, people around the world that are most in need.

Last year's kits went to Gulf Coast victims, those affected by the Tsunami and to other areas globally.

The church will be specializing in creating health kits this year but other kits will be collected, those include kits for babies, for cleaning-up disasters, kits for schools and kits designed specifically for children.

The health kit that the Church is putting together includes items of toothpaste, toothbrushes, combs, bath soap, bandaides, nail files, washcloths, hand towels, and nail clippers.

Roberta Page, a contact for the charity event, advises against people trying to bring loose items to the church.

"People can come to the Church during the drop off dates and give money in order to help in assembling a kit," Page said.

Prices for donating in the construction of a kit range from $12 to $45 depending on which kit an individual chooses.

The Church is one of eight New England churches that will serve as a kit drop-off depot for the charity event. Kits will then be brought to the Maryland warehouse for distribution.

Twenty-four thousand three hundred and thirty-nine pounds of supplies were contributed last year on a national scale.

Twenty- five churches out of the two hundred and fifty-five located in Western Massachusetts participated in the event last year and were able to contribute almost 9% of the total donations.

Page asked that others become involved in the event,

"There but for the grace of God go I," she said. "You never know what could happen in your own town or community."

If members of the community would like to aid in this project you can contact the church office at 734-1290.