Letter: The goodness of giving
When the doors closed Dec. 24 at the county Social Services office, our two annual Christmas-time events have ended for the year. Both were generously and cheerfully supported by people from churches, civic groups, students, individuals, businesses and foundations who are believers in the goodness of giving, particularly at this time of year.
The Adopt a Family project had 36 applicant families. Twenty-seven families and 24 civic groups, churches and private individuals "adopted" these families this Christmas. Gifts were purchased and wrapped, all with the special family in mind. This program truly makes each individual recipient of this project able to see the thoughtfulness that goes into selecting these gifts just for them.
The Gazette-Journal has already shown photos of the abundance of gifts that were bused and trucked from our agency to the Kingston Parish, where the Christmas Store is housed. It was amazing to watch the organization of the production line formed by dozens of volunteers who loaded and set up these toys and other merchandise. Peggy Hudgins, the official Christmas Queen, recorded a total of 90 volunteers who worked in some capacity for the store for a total time of 811 hours. The workers included the Mathews High School Beta Club, Troop 124 Boy Scouts, members of nearly all the civic groups and churches in the county and individual citizens. Names won’t be listed so as to avoid omitting any of these exceptional volunteers.
Donations came from all over the county and shopping was started immediately following Christmas Store 2011. There were 345 adults and 190 children shoppers at the Christmas Store and another 48 children shopped for their parents in the Elf Shoppe. All had an opportunity to shop in one of the best stocked Christmas Stores ever.
On behalf of our staff and board, we would like to extend our sincere appreciation to those of you who contributed financially or through your work to make this a wonderful and memorable holiday for the families in Mathews County.
Jo Ann Wilson-Harfst, director
Department of Social Services