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Christmas Friends Inc. has a lot of work to do

Christmas Friends Inc. is beginning its 23rd year of helping the less fortunate of Middlesex County.

The fund-raising goal for Christmas Friends this year remains at $25,000. “We have set the goal to be the same as last year,” said Christmas Friends secretary and shopping director Bettie Lee Gaskins. “Even though contributions are down nationally for nearly all non-profit organizations, we have faith that the local residents will come through with donations for our own needy people in the area.”

Last year, Christmas Friends helped more than 280 low-income and elderly residents of Middlesex County, said Gaskins, who added she is expecting a similar number of program applicants this year.

Shoppers are needed as soon as possible to buy hundreds of gifts for the needy. “We hope to finish most of the shopping as soon as we can to meet the wrapping and delivery deadlines,” said Gaskins.

Volunteers are appreciated and will be needed to wrap the gifts on December 6, 13 and 14; and deliver the gifts on December 20.

If you have a few hours to help, please call Geanie Longest at the Southside Sentinel at 758-2328, or email her at .

Since its creation in 1986, Christmas Friends Inc. has worked with the Middlesex County Department of Social Services, which carefully screens all applicants for eligibility. Applicants must meet strict income guidelines set by both Christmas Friends Inc. and Middlesex Social Services.

The gift-giving program has developed a process to fill the needs of hundreds of recipients every year. Eligible families submit a “wish list” of clothing, toys and other needs; a volunteer shopper is assigned and issued donated funds; and the purchased gifts are assembled at the Sentinel office for wrapping and delivery.

Christmas Friends Inc. is co-sponsored by the Southside Sentinel and the Middlesex County Department of Social Services. The program is in its 23rd year.

Although Christmas Friends’ goal in 2007 was $25,000, the community responded generously and donated $27,360.45.

Gaskins said Christmas Friends is counting on the continued generosity of the community.

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 contractors’ bags are all donated.

Tax-deductible donations should be made payable to Christmas Friends Inc., c/o Southside Sentinel, P.O. Box 549, Urbanna, VA 23175. Call 758-2328 for more information.

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

Recent Christmas Friends contributors include:

  • In memory of Cynthia Barlowe from her family, $100.
  • Katlin Major, 2008 Oyster Festival Contestant Community Service Project, $916.
  • Memorial donations given for Barbara Shores, $2,695.
  • In honor of our dear friends at Kilmers Point by Larry and Mary Ann Muse, $25.
  • In honor of special friend Mr. William Braxton by Larry and Mary Ann Muse, $25.
  • In memory of Barbara Ann Shores by Jim and Nancy Harris, $100.
  • In memory of Barbara Ann Shores by John N. Harris, $25.
  • In loving memory of Gilbert and Helen Johnson and John and Sallie Brooke by Webster and Ellen Brooke, $35.
  • William and Deborah Nicholson, $50.
  • Robert and Shannon Haley, $100.
  • Anonymous, $350.
  • In memory of Alvah and Horace Norton, $100.
  • In memory of loved ones by Roberta W. Marshall, $100.
  • Strother and Evie Scott, $200.
  • Page and Becky Melton, $100.
  • Phil and Joy Crowder, $100.
  • In honor of Elizabeth and H.L. Revere on their 75th anniversary, $100.
  • In memory of “Chuck” Revere given by Revere family, $100.

Donations received as of Nov. 18—$5,221.00

Click here for more information.

posted 11.19.2008

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