The Orchard, serving as a regional collection center for Operation Christmas Child, has recently collected 796 shoe box gifts that will be sent to children in more than 100 countries who are suffering from natural disaster, war, terrorism, disease, famine and poverty.
Boxes were packed with gifts, including small toys, personal care items such as hair brushes, hair accessories, toothbrushes, as well as stickers, school supplies and hard candy, by area families, kids, churches, schools and civic organizations, including 348 boxes that were contributed by the church’s attendees.
As a regional collection center where other area churches, civic organizations, schools and businesses dropped off their boxes, The Orchard hosted many events this year to bring awareness to this cause, including an annual packing and wrapping party when over 100 boxes were packed in just a matter of hours, and a fundraiser spaghetti lunch which raised over $900 to handle the processing of the boxes. The Orchard also will host a trip to the regional processing center in Denver on Wednesday, Nov. 28.
The Property Shop donated its moving truck to transport all the boxes to Grand Junction where they will be sent to the distribution center in Denver and then re-packed to be shipped all over the world. Midland Shoe in Basalt and Treadz in Glenwood Springs donated hundreds of shoe boxes.
If you still have a box you would like to send you must now mail those boxes to Samaritan’s Purse at Operation Christmas Child, Samaritan’s Purse, P.O. Box 3000, 801 Bamboo Road, Boone, NC, 28607. You also can go to www.SamaritansPurse.org  to “Build a Box” or “Adopt a Box.”
For more information on the Roaring Fork Valley’s involvement with Operation Christmas Child contact The Orchard at 963 8773, ext. 104.
Pitkin County Library, in partnership with Community Cinema and Rocky Mountain PBS, will present a free screening of the documentary “Solar Mamas” on Thursday, Nov. 29 at 5:30 p.m. Co-directed by Mona Eldaief and Jehane Noujaim, the film is part of the Emmy Award-winning PBS series “Independent Lens.”
“Solar Mamas” follows Rafea, a married, strong-willed 32-year-old Jordanian mother of four, who travels outside of her village for the first time to attend India’s Barefoot College solar program. The “college” was founded to provide knowledge and training to the rural poor to empower their communities with self-reliance and sustainability.
Rafea, the first Jordanian woman to attend the program, joins other women in a life-changing program that will equip her to be a solar engineer. Two months into the program, her husband insists she come home or he will divorce her and take the children. Rafea must persuade her husband that her studies benefit their family and the entire village.
A brief question-and-answer session will follow with Sandy Pickard from Solar Energy International (SEI). Since 1991, SEI has provided practitioners the world over with the knowledge and skills necessary to help free the planet from a deepening dependence on fossil fuels.
Anderson Ranch in January is offering an opportunity for artists to diversify their studio practices in a three-week session.
Designed as an interdisciplinary opportunity, the Immersive program provides participants access to all of the ranch’s artistic staff, studios and facilities, and includes dialog with visiting critics.
Participants will be encouraged to explore an extensive array of mediums, including painting/drawing, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, woodworking/furniture design, film and digital photography and new media. Visiting critics Karl Burkheimer and Teresa Booth Brown will provide critical and professional advice to every participant during the session. During the program, mini-workshopswill be included in every media in the ranch studios.
The Immersive session is Jan. 7- 25. Attendance is limited. Applications are required and spaces are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. For applications, visit www.andersonranch.org  or contact Jenene Nagy, artistic director of painting and printmaking at firstname.lastname@example.org  or 970 923-3181, ext. 236.