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Wrappers, vans needed for Christmas Friends

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

Volunteers are needed for Christmas Friends Inc. to wrap gifts on Saturday, December 1, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Southside Sentinel. Wrappers also will be needed for Saturday, December 8, starting at 1 p.m.

If you can spare some time to help the less fortunate, please call Geanie Longest at the Sentinel at 758-2328.

Also needed are two more delivery vans with drivers, and three more delivery assistants for Saturday, December 15, when gifts will be distributed throughout the county.

Christmas Friends Inc. is in its 27th year helping the less fortunate of Middlesex County. Monetary donations are needed for the program, which will serve over 300 clients this year.

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 screens all applicants for eligibility. 

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 $26,000, the same as last year. The community responded generously and donated $26,540 last year.

In 2011, Christmas Friends helped  325 residents (214 children and 111 senior adults) of Middlesex County, said Christmas Friends secretary and shopping director Bettie Lee Gaskins. Over $30,000 was spent on the gifts.

Gift boxes are always needed and delivery vans and drivers will soon be assigned. 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 15, please call 758-2328. Gift boxes can be left at the Sentinel back door. 

For more information, call Geanie Longest at the Southside Sentinel at 758-2328 or email her at .

All funds donated to Christmas Friends go directly to help needy children and disabled or low-income elderly of Middlesex. All workers are volunteers and there are no administrative fees. 

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.

Recent donations include:

In memory of Charles Healy by Anita Healy, $100.
Warren and Vivian Milby, $100.
Episcopal Church Women of Christ Church Parish, $250.
In memory of Dorothy Healy Carneal by Ellen and Carroll Lee ($100); In memory of Eddie and Minnie Healy and Amos and Margaret Healy by Ellen and Carroll Lee ($50), $150.
In memory of Jim Lennon by Nennie, $50.
In memory of Walter C. Palmer Jr., Sudie Segar Palmer and Ann Palmer Barrows, $100.
Anonymous, $40.
Harvey and Zonie Cox, $200.
Anonymous, $250.
Nancy W. Muldowney, $50.
In memory of loved ones by Jean and Jim Hill, $50.
Jerome and Elizabeth Lester, $100.
Gerald and Judith Parker, $2,500.
In memory of William H. Milby, Louise H. Milby and Arthur Shaver, $100.
Richard Scott Krejci, $50.
Anonymous, $50.
In memory of Grandson, Justin Wyatt from Bernice and Kenny Wyatt, $50.

Total this week: $4,190.00
Total to date: $4,800.00

posted 11.28.2012

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