“Thank you very much for letting our children believe in Santa another year,” wrote a mother who, during last year’s Spokesman-Review Christmas Drive, received toys for her children and a food voucher to help with groceries.
“We have three children - 7, 3 and 1 years old. Thanks to everyone who cares, they will get a gift from Santa.”
Many letters of thanks were written to the Christmas Bureau last year, but this one is especially poignant.
This mother expresses exactly what the Christmas Fund is all about: letting youngsters believe in the centuries-old fairy tale all of us grew up with.
This year’s drive is going to be a crunch - timewise and moneywise.
This year’s goal to help thousands of needy families is $400,000, an amount set by folks in the know: those who work daily with low-income people, staff at Catholic Charities, the Salvation Army and Volunteers of America.
And there are precious few days to collect the gifts before Christmas arrives.
Donations of $480 tallied Sunday bring the year-to-date amount to $5,929.51. That’s a long way from $400,000 - but we’ve just begun.
No matter how hard it might be to contribute, letters of appreciation make it all worthwhile.
A mom named Tracy wrote last year: “Thank you so much for your program that made our Christmas so special this year. As a full-time student with four children and no child support, I didn’t know how we would have a Christmas this year. Thank you to all the people who donated their time (and money to buy) the toys.”
It’s you, the newspaper’s readers, who make it possible for people like Tracy and her little children to enjoy the season.
“My husband was disabled two years ago, the result of falling off a ladder. In one fell swoop, I lost a breadwinner, a backup sitter and maid, and gained a bedridden invalid,” wrote B. Nelson, wife and mother of four. “The Christmas Bureau helped ensure that my children didn’t suffer for our setbacks.”
She spent some of her voucher on “totally non-nutritional” items like ingredients to make fudge. Non-nutritional, that is, “except to the soul parched by skimping.”
These notes are only a sampling from the people your contributions helped.
Now, we’re asking you to help again.
All of your money will go for its intended purpose of allowing our low-income neighbors to have some semblance of a happy holiday. The newspaper only collects the money and gives it all, every cent, to the non-profit agencies that manage the Christmas Bureau, where food vouchers and gifts are distributed.
Your contribution helps every child in every low-income family seeking help to receive a toy, and to provide the family with a small food voucher.
Nothing of your gift is withheld for expenses. Even the building that houses the bureau is donated. Volunteers donate their time to distribute the vouchers and toys and operate computers and direct traffic …
Sunday’s total was boosted with the donation of $120 from Green for Jeans, which, on Jan. 31, donated 50 cents for each pair of Levi’s it sold last winter. All money received after last year’s cutoff date of Jan. 1, will be used for this year’s drive.
Sue Peterson, 1518 E. Gordon, donated $100.
Employees of the former U.S. Bureau of Mines, Western Field Operations Center, mailed a check for $100 last February, when they realized the bureau was being closed and they were to be laid off. The entire staff became unemployed; many would have to move elsewhere. But those same people wanted the residual funds of their Activities Committee to go to various charities, including the Christmas Fund.
“May there always be organizations such as the Christmas Fund in our community. We hope our small contribution can help further the efforts to make the Christmas season a little brighter for all of us,” a spokesman wrote.
An employee at Sacred Heart Medical Center donated $10 to the cause last year, but it is just as appreciated this year.