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Holidays upon us, it’s time to help your neighbors

Hello neighbor.

It’s that time of year — there’s so much on all of our minds and so much ahead before we welcome in the new year.

What presents am I going to get my three grandsons and my great-nieces and great-nephews? What am I going to serve? Who am I going to visit first?

It can be a very stressful time, but it can also be one of the best times of the year.

That isn’t true for everyone, though. Some of our neighbors struggle all year long — and the holiday season just seems to magnify their troubles.

So, this year try to help, whether it’s donating some food, a toy, or helping serve a meal.

Being a neighbor isn’t just about leaving your home and waving to the person next door — it’s about caring and sharing.

Take a hard look at some of the events listed below. I’m making it easy for you — there are opportunities to donate food, to volunteer to help feed the hungry and to buy or make something that you can then donate.

Take your family with you and have some fun while making someone else’s holiday — and life — a little better.

THE GREENFIELD ALLIANCE CHURCH at Silver and Davis streets will serve a free Thanksgiving community meal on Sunday at noon at the church.

Go and enjoy a scrumptious turkey dinner with all the fixings.

For more information, call Linda at 413-768-9868.

FOUR RIVERS CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOL will hold its Homemade Holiday Craft Fair on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the school on Colrain Road.

The school would like Four Rivers families to attend and make something for the fair. The school’s common room will be set up with a variety of craft stations where families may make different gifts.

Those participating will be asked to purchase tickets when entering the room and each craft will require a certain number of tickets. The most expensive craft to date has been $4.

Examples of crafts from the past are glass ornaments, magnets, candy jars and tile coasters.

There will be chili, soup and chowder with rolls or corn bread available.

For more information, call Vicki Fiske-White at 413-774-2436.

LOCAL BOY SCOUT TROOPS (Boy Scout Troops 5 and 16 and Cub Scout Pack 3 ... which had help from Greenfield High School Student Council members) have kicked off their annual food drive, “Scouting for Food.”

Scouts and the Student Council delivered bags to many neighborhoods in Greenfield on Nov. 10 with instructions to people to fill them with nonperishable food and put them in a visible location on Saturday after 9 a.m., when they will be picked up.

All donations will go to the Franklin Area Survival Center.

Since the bags were not delivered to every neighborhood, those of you who did not get one may drop off food to First Congregational Church on Silver Street on Saturday morning before noon.

The pre-printed bags say the group will pick them up until 3 p.m. on Saturday, but they plan to finish pickup by noon.

Please put your bags out and help your hungry neighbors and do not include frozen, perishable or outdated food.

THE LITTLE DRUMMER CRAFT FAIR will return to Franklin County Technical School on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be more than 50 artists and crafters there this year — most from throughout the Pioneer Valley and some from New Hampshire, Vermont and Connecticut.

The annual fair supports the music program at FCTS and its award-winning Drumline.

There will also be an extensive raffle table and lunch and other refreshments will be sold and served by the school’s culinary students.

Admission is free and there is plenty of parking.

WARWICK IS THE PLACE TO BE ON SATURDAY! The Metcalf Chapel Holiday Fair will be held at Town Hall, 12 Athol Road, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

There will be local crafters selling their wares, bake sales, raffles, and an opportunity to trade items.

A hot lunch will be served.

Down the street at Metcalf Chapel there will be a clothing sale of good quality used clothing for the entire family.

THE TURNERS FALLS HIGH SCHOOL ALUMNI ASSOCIATION will hold its second annual reunion gathering the weekend after Thanksgiving.

The event will be held Nov. 23 from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at Between the Uprights on Avenue A and Second Street in Turners Falls.

The event is free and casual for all TFHS alumni — I happen to be one (Go Class of 1976!) — as well as teachers, administration and friends.

There will be a no-host bar, light munchies, music and lots of fun sharing memories and catching up.

THE DEERFIELD POLICE ASSOCIATION will hold its annual craft fair on Nov. 24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Frontier Regional School on North Main Street in South Deerfield.

This year is the craft fair’s 30th birthday. It is held by the Deerfield Police Relief Association and admission is free.

More than 70 crafters from around the region will be there and items will include handmade decorations and ornaments, wooden wares, jewelry, quilts, pottery, silk, balsam wreaths, dried flowers and more.

The fair will also offer tasty homemade treats and foods, including crab meat salad and seafood chowder made by Wolfie’s Restaurant of South Deerfield.

Meals will be served by members of the association.

There will also be a “Super Raffle” with more than 70 items. Tickets will be sold throughout the day and drawings will be held at 3 p.m. that day — but it won’t be necessary to be present to win.

The annual craft fair is the association’s only fundraiser. It was begun by the Deerfield Police Relief Association to fund a scholarship in honor of Walter Dacyczyn, an officer who was killed in the line of duty.

Other youth-oriented projects, including the annual Halloween Party and Hay Ride and various youth sports are funded by proceeds from the craft fair.

THE FAMILY LIFE COMMISSION OF HOLY TRINITY CHURCH, 133 Main St. in Greenfield will be selling hand-decorated Christmas wreaths on Nov. 24 and 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in front of the church.

They will also be sold before masses on those days. The group has been selling wreaths for 10 years now.

Plain wreaths with a bow are $2 and decorated wreaths are $18.

Proceeds from the sale will benefit Holy Trinity Church. For more information, call Lisa Baronas at 413-772-6687 or Jeanne Nietsche at 413-774-4077.

COUNTRY CLUB OF GREENFIELD members would like to invite the public to see the new clubhouse and restaurant on Saturday from 2 to 7 p.m.

There will be complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. All members ask is that people bring nonperishable food items that will be donated to the local food bank.

The country club was destroyed in a fire last year, but board President Timothy Farrell told me that along with a new clubhouse, there will be a couple of changes — like the restaurant will now be open to the public at all times. He said while membership will continue to have its privileges, the country club wants everyone to enjoy the new dining room.

For the remainder of the year, the restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for lunch each day and there will be extended bar hours on the weekends.

Starting April 1, 2013, the restaurant will be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner and the pavilion will be available for large functions.

FULL COLOR 2013 CALENDARS OF ROBERT STRONG WOODWARD’S PAINTINGS are now available for purchase to benefit the Buckland Historical Society.

Woodward (1885-1957) was a New England artist who came from Buckland. His New England landscape paintings were bought by George Burns, Jack Benny and Robert Frost.

This year’s theme is “Passing New England,” a collection of landscapes, homes and barns. The calendars are $20 and may be purchased at Boswell’s Books and Sawyer News in Shelburne Falls, as well as Andy’s and the Oak Shoppe in Greenfield and The Buckland Public Library in Buckland center.

They may also be ordered at: www.robertstrongwoodward.com.

I’M NOT SURE HOW MANY OF YOU SAW MY STORY this past week about the Town of Greenfield planting more trees, but I mentioned in that story that a couple of local funeral homes make donations to plant trees in people’s memories.

Smith-Kelleher Funeral Home should have been on that list — I just learned it also makes those types of donations.

The funeral home informs each of its clients that a donation will be made in their loved one’s name and that a tree will be planted.

I’M SEARCHING FOR SOME INFORMATION AND HOPE SOME OF YOU CAN HELP. I am writing about The Recorder’s Warm the Children this year and hoping to find groups that knit hats and mittens for the program.

Could you please contact me if your group or any other group you know of does this? I’d like to write about it.

Call me at 413-772-0261, ext 280. Thanks in advance.

To contact Anita Fritz, a staff reporter at The Recorder, send an email to anita.alice.fritz@gmail.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 280 or her cell at 413-388-6950. You can also reach her on Facebook at Anita’s Neighbors. Information to be included in Neighbors may also be sent to: neighbors@recorder.com the day before you want it to run.

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