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Remembering Those in Need

Appalachian Outreach is a charity that has a program where donors can fill a shoe box with items to help needy families. The author describes the program and how you can help.

Four years ago, almost to the day, I wrote an article entitled What’s Your Priority? Helping Those in Need. I was a writer/editor for the Postal Service at the time and as much as I was writing about the then-new Priority Mail Shoe Box, I wanted to bring attention to a charity I felt readers could help – Appalachian Outreach. One of their programs asks donors to fill a shoe box with needed items for the poor in rural West Virginia.

It’s funny how the mind works — mine anyway. I was shopping online, and although there is only one baby in my life (the daughter of a friend), I was perusing the clearance baby clothes. I kept thinking what great deals there were and suddenly I thought of the Baby Bonus Box that I sent to the charity after writing the article.

A lot has happened to me over the past four years: divorce, retirement, moving from New Jersey to Texas. I hadn’t thought about this charity in all this time until yesterday when I was cyber-shopping.

If you take the notion, you may want to fill a Baby Bonus Box for newborns or become a Shoebox Santa to help needy adults.

I know I will.

Baby Bonus Boxes

Items needed:

  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Diaper rash ointment
  • Baby powder
  • Sleepers
  • Onesies
  • Small stuffed animals
  • Receiving blankets
  • Shoes and socks
  • Hats
  • Bottles and nipples
  • Spoons
  • Teething rings
  • Bibs
  • Pacifiers
  • Rattles

Shoebox Santas

Items needed:

  • Soap (bar or liquid)
  • Shampoo
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Denture cleaner and adhesive
  • Mouthwash and dental floss
  • Razors and blades
  • Shaving cream and aftershave
  • Hairbrushes or combs
  • Tweezers
  • Nail clippers
  • Corn plasters
  • Hand lotion
  • Perfume
  • Notepads, pens, and pencils
  • Large print cards
  • Magnifying glasses
  • Stamps
  • Dominoes, checkers, etc.
  • Band-Aids
  • Hose
  • Gloves
  • Folding umbrellas

For more information

Appalachian Outreach, Inc., 13 West View Lane, Glen Dale, WV 26038-1382; (304) 845-2762;

To order Priority Main shoeboxes, go to They are free-of-charge.

About the Author

Marilyn Jones has been a journalist for more than 30 years and is currently a freelance feature writer specializing in travel. Her articles have appeared in major newspapers including the BostonGlobe, Akron Beacon Journal and Chicago Sun-Times as well as regional travel magazines.

Visit her website at