Local report

The annual ACCESS Senior Shoebox Project is seeking small gifts to be given to senior citizens, people with disabilities and the homebound during the holiday season.

Items will be accepted until Friday, Dec. 8, at 3630 Aviation Way, Medford.

People can drop off items, put them inside gift-wrapped shoeboxes or join in a shoebox-filling party at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Olsrud Family Nutrition Center, 2020 Cardinal Ave., Medford. The party will last about two hours.

Call 541-774-4324 or email nicki@accesshelps.org for more information about volunteering to fill or deliver shoeboxes.

ACCESS asks people who donate gift-wrapped shoeboxes to wrap the box lids and bottoms separately so the organization can add a holiday greeting.

Financial donations to help purchase items for the shoeboxes can be made at www.accesshelps.org.

"We hear so many wonderful responses from recipients — responses like, 'You have no idea how much the shoebox meant to me,' 'All the goodies are just so extra special. It made me feel very special and blessed,' and 'Thanks so much for caring about seniors,' " said ACCESS worker Nicki Bell.

Suggested gift items include address books, bath sponges, batteries, card games, combs and brushes, toiletries, first-aid supplies, jar openers, puzzles, nail clippers, magnifying glasses, mittens, neck pillows, night lights, nonperishable food items, nonskid cozy socks, pens and pencils, pencil sharpeners, pill boxes, Post-It notes, pot holders, prepaid telephone cards, sewing kits, small stuffed animals, stamps, washcloths and large-print crossword puzzles, alarm clocks and calculators.

Founded in 1976, ACCESS provides food, housing, warmth and other essential services to Jackson County's low-income children, families, senior citizens and people with disabilities.

Services help people break the cycle of poverty and address both one-time emergencies and long-term issues, according to ACCESS.