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Christmas Friends halfway toward $25,000 goal

The wrapping of Christmas Friends gifts got under way Saturday at the Southside Sentinel building in Urbanna. Wrapping gifts above are, clockwise from left, Sue Pociask of the Middlesex Kiwanis Club, Lynn Bisogno, Fran Miller and Marion Miller of the Edna Yankovich Circle of Clarksbury United Methodist Church, and Betty Coulson of Middlesex Kiwanis. (Photo by Tom Hardin)

Gift boxes are currently needed and can be left at the Sentinel back door in Urbanna.

Gifts for Christmas Friends Inc. are piling up and being wrapped for the less fortunate of Middlesex County.

This Saturday morning, December 12, will be the last gift-wrapping session and a few more wrappers are needed. Call 758-2328 to volunteer.

Also needed are three more delivery vans for Saturday, December 19. If you have a van and are willing to remove its back seats and be the driver for one of 10 delivery teams on December 19, please call 758-2328.

Volunteer shoppers are finishing their work and many also have wrapped the presents they purchased. A special thank-you goes to several shoppers who did “double duty” shopping for last-minute recipients, said Christmas Friends secretary and shopping director Bettie Lee Gaskins. The most shoppers in the 24-year history of Christmas Friends have participated this year, she added.

So far this season, $28,900 has been spent by Christmas Friends shoppers, said Gaskins. “Donations are needed because this year we’ve helped more people than ever,” she said. “It’s been great!”

All this week, Cyndy’s Bynn in Urbanna is donating 10 percent of each sale to Christmas Friends, said owner Betsy Bristow. “We selected Christmas Friends for the donation because it’s a county-wide program,” she said.

Since its creation in 1986, a key ingredient to the success of Christmas Friends has been its partnership with the Middlesex County Department of Social Services, which carefully screens all applicants for eligibility. Applicants must meet strict income guidelines.

The fund-raising goal for Christmas Friends this year is $25,000, the same as last year.

The community responded generously and donated $32,939.82 last year, which has enabled Christmas Friends to serve more needy people this year and increase the amount allotted for gifts per recipient.

Last year, Christmas Friends helped 280 low-income and elderly residents of Middlesex County, said Gaskins.

All funds donated to Christmas Friends go directly to help the needy children and disabled or low-income elderly of Middlesex. All workers are volunteers and there are no administrative fees. Supplies such as boxes, wrapping paper, tape, copying paper, envelopes and delivery bags are all donated and volunteers supply storage space, vans and fuel to assist with the big delivery job.

Now in its 24th year, Christmas Friends is a 501(c)(3) organization. Tax-deductible donations may be made payable to Christmas Friends Inc., c/o Southside Sentinel, P.O. Box 549, Urbanna, VA 23175. 

Contributors will be recognized as Christmas Friends and their donations will be listed in the Sentinel. Contributors who wish to remain anonymous should request that their donations be listed as such. Memorial contributions will also be acknowledged.

Watch this space for future volunteer opportunities. For more information, call Geanie Longest at the Southside Sentinel at 758-2328 or email her at .
Donations last week totaled $5,824, which brings total donations to $13,424.

Recent Christmas Friends contributors include: 

  • Jim and Jean Hill, $50.
  • For the true meaning of Christmas! Susan Ward Wermers, $50.
  • Anonymous, $500.
  • In honor of H.L. and Elizabeth Revere, $200.
  • Leftwich and Jean Stone, $100.
  • In memory of Tommy Purcell by Terri, Kelly and Abigail Purcell, $25.
  • Women’s Community Club donation in memory of Val and Catherine, $200.
  • David and Arminta Bailey, $100.
  • Richard and Dana Rosanelli, $50.
  • In memory of William H. Milby and Louise M. Milby, $100.
  • In memory of William T. and Louise H. Miller and Lynn Faulkner by Elaine M. (Tommie) Faulkner and Joan M. Hines and families, $100.
  • Juanita Perrins, $25.
  • In memory of Charlotte June Horton by Sonny and family, $100.
  • Anonymous, $75.
  • Carol and Jay McNamara, $200.
  • In memory of our parents Wilbur and Clara Wilson; Marvin and Lillian Dunlevy and sister Libby Gilbert by John and Martha Dunlevy, $100.
  • Anonymous, $49.
  • In memory of Stanley Shackleford and Ruth M. Wilkes by Mildred W. Shackleford, $50.
  • In honor of Elizabeth M. Howard by Jim Smith, $75.
  • Anke and Ed Fisher, $100.
  • Larry and Zani Autry, $80.
  • Anonymous, $20.
  • In memory of Sidney Stallings, $25.
  • In memory of Ralph E. Cook by Betty Cook, $100.
  • Phil and Joy Crowder, $100.
  • Saluda Baptist Church Adult Class, $50.
  • In memory of Tommy Purcell given by Tom and Roberta Major, $50.
  • In memory of Walter Major given by Tom and Roberta Major, $50.
  • In honor of our friends and families by Marvin and Susan Fowler, $25.
  • In memory of Joseph and Helen Southall by Warren and Harvie Jones, $100.
  • Richard and Sharon Mooney, $50.
  • George and Dolores Cunning, $50.
  • Russ and Pat Russell, $100.
  • Carol Grant, $15.
  • In memory of Pastor Luther Baugham by Trinity Lutheran Church, $750.
  • Anonymous, $50.
  • In memory of Bob Carey by Anne Carey, $100.
  • In memory of Ruth Thompson by Mom and Dad, $25.
  • In memory of Dr. Robert R. Montgomery, $50.
  • In honor of Dorothy Topping by Sharon Topping and Tom Lindley, $100.
  • Harmony Sunday School Class of Urbanna Baptist Church, $200.
  • Forest and Linda Bogan, $50.
  • In memory of my daddy Hubert Major by Deborah Mitchem, $100.
  • In honor of grandsons Matthew and Ian by Clarence and Patricia Seamster, $100.
  • Erin Garney, $30.
  • In memory of Shep Chowning by Robert and Polly Marshall, $50.
  • In memory of Dot and Abby Hawkes by Robert and Polly Marshall, $50.
  • My love for Linwood A. Butler Jr. from Frances, $200.
  • Gary and Shelly Craft, $30.
  • Strother and Evie Scott, $200.
  • In memory of Susie and Emmett Blake by Sheldon and Maxine, $50.
  • Anonymous, $25.
  • In honor of James Pitts by Blakey’s Hunt Club, $100.
  • Anonymous, $400.
  • In loving memory of Cynthia Barlowe from her family, $100.

Total collected this week $5,824.
Total collected to date $13,424.

posted 12.09.2009

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