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Christmas Friends Inc. has $7,600 of $25,000 goal

Send donations to Christmas Friends Inc., c/o Southside Sentinel, P.O. Box 549, Urbanna, VA 23175.

Gifts for Christmas Friends Inc. are beginning to accumulate, and soon they will be wrapped for the less fortunate of Middlesex County.

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

Delivery vans will be needed in about two weeks. If you have a van and are willing to remove its back seats and be the driver for one of 10 delivery teams on Saturday, December 19, please call 758-2328.

Volunteer shoppers are already on the job and monetary donations are being made. So far this season, $27,135 has been spent by Christmas Friends shoppers.

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.

Once applicants are approved, the gift-giving program begins a process that’s almost like a pre-Christmas visit with Santa. Eligible families submit a “wish list” of clothing (including sizes and colors desired), toys and other needs; a volunteer shopper is assigned and issued donated funds; and the purchased gifts are assembled at the Southside Sentinel office in Urbanna for wrapping and delivery. 

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 increase the amount allotted for gifts this year an average 15% per recipient.

Last year, Christmas Friends helped 280 low-income and elderly residents of Middlesex County, said Christmas Friends secretary and shopping director Bettie Lee 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 of $4,730 were received this week, which brings the total donations to $7,600.

Recent Christmas Friends contributors include:

  • Rob and Shannon Haley, $100.
  • In memory of Wilda Purcell by Billy and Barbara Earman, $50.
  • In memory of John D. Lemons Jr. by Bill, Blair, Palmer, Sophie and Peyton Curdts, $100.
  • In memory of Joseph K. Reid Jr. (G-Pop)—From Carter, Joe, Katherine and Will, $250.
  • Faithful Workers SS Class Harmony Grove Baptist Church, $25.
  • Birdseed’s Electrical Service Inc. $100.
  • Mr. and Mrs. L.C. Taylor, $100.
  • In memory of Willis and Elizabeth Wilson by John A. Coe, $50.
  • In memory of Carlos L. Smith by John A. Coe, $50.
  • In memory of Betty Knez by John A. Coe, $50.
  • Toni Ewell, $100.
  • Gerald and Judith Parker, $2,000.
  • Nimcock Gallery, $50.
  • In memory of Charlie by J. Warren Milby, $100.
  • In memory of Bev Silver by Bob and Susan Fitch, $100.
  • James A. Monroe Jr., $30.
  • In memory of Mr. and Mrs. Jesse T. Hudson Jr. by Amy Schacht, $50.
  • Piankatank Shores Worship and Fellowship Group, $50.
  • Anonymous, $100.
  • David E. Collins, $100.
  • In memory of Clyde and Doris Stewart by Clyde and Gayle Stewart, $100.
  • Ron and Lucy Rapp, $50.
  • Robert and Barbara Lovelace, $75.
  • In memory of the Fallen, $50.
  • Richard and Deborah Haynes, $100.
  • In memory of “Chuck” Revere given by family, $100.
  • In honor of our grandchildren—Andrew, Austen Taylor, Olivia, Brian and Aiden by MaMaw and PawPaw, $100.
  • In memory of loved ones by Roberta Marshall, $100.
  • Andrew and Jeanne Maloney, $200.
  • In loving memory of Games and Almedia Dozier by Andrew and Austen Taylor Dozier, $100.
  • In honor of our grandparents Ann and Mercer Major by Andrew, Austen Taylor, Olivia, Brian and Aiden, $100.
  • In honor of Cynthia and James Pitts and family given by the Reveres, $100.

Total collected this week $4,730.
Total collected to date $7,600.

posted 12.03.2009

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