Delivery vans needed for Christmas Friends
|The Chesapeake Bay and Rivers Association of Realtors (CBRAR) has donated $500 in Wal-Mart gift cards to Christmas Friends Inc., a giving program to help the needy of Middlesex. Above, CBRAR board of directors member Elizabeth Johnson (left) presents two gift cards to Christmas Friends shopping coordinators Bettie Lee Gaskins (center) and Geanie Longest. CBRAR can be contacted at 776-0568.|
Delivery takes only 2 or 3 hours and volunteers with vans would be greatly appreciated, said Christmas Friends President Fred Gaskins.
Nine vans with removable seats are needed. If you have a few hours to help, please call Geanie Longest at the Southside Sentinel at 758-2328, or email her at .
Christmas Friends Inc. is a gift-giving program in its 23rd year of helping the less fortunate of Middlesex County.
Shoppers have purchased hundreds of gifts that will be wrapped this Saturday, Dec. 6, and next weekend in preparation for delivery to families on Saturday, Dec. 20.
“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 operating, 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.
Christmas Friends is expected to help 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. To volunteer, 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.
Christmas Friends Inc. is co-sponsored by the Southside Sentinel and the Middlesex County Department of Social Services.
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, $7,509 in donations were received. As of December 2, a total of $14,255 in donations had been received.
Recent Christmas Friends contributors include:
Total collected this week— $7,509.
Donations received as of December 2— $14,255.