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Christmas Friends shopping begins

Christmas Friends Inc. needs shoppers and gift wrappers immediately for this year’s giving effort.
Activity is picking up for Christmas Friends Inc., the gift-giving program in its 23rd year of helping the less fortunate of Middlesex County.

“We appreciate the shoppers who have responded,” said Christmas Friends’ secretary and shopping director Bettie Lee Gaskins.

Donations are still needed to keep the program moving, she said. The fund-raising goal for Christmas Friends this year remains at $25,000, the same as last year.

“We hope people will remember the needy that we have in the area,” said Gaskins, noting that 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.

Donations are tax-deductible.

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.

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.

This week $1,525 in donations was received. As of November 24, $6,746 in donations had been received.

Recent Christmas Friends contributors include:

  • Janet S. Friend, $100.
  • Urbanna Family Practice, $100.
  • Urbanna Business Association and Urbanna’s Downtown Market, $100.
  • Women of Christ Church, $300.
  • In honor of our children-Franklin, Thomas and Anne Earman by Billy and Barbara Earman, $50.
  • In memory of Barbara Shores by Kevin, Amy, Maggie and Mason Bull, $100.
  • Anonymous, $50.
  • RE and Patty Toms, $200.
  • Nimcock Gallery, $100.
  • Keaton H. Garber, $25.
  • In honor of Elisabeth and H.L. Revere’s 75th wedding anniversary by Robert and Polly Marshall, $100.
  • Whitelaw and Carolyn Durrer, $50.
  • To the glory of God and in memory of our loved ones-Ann and Mercer Major, $200.
  • Dee and George Cunningham, $50.
  • Total collected this week— $1,525.

Total donations received as of Nov. 24—$6,746.00.

posted 11.26.2008

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