For families experiencing tough times in eastern Bureau County, a local charity is once again focusing its attention on providing a “Christmas” experience.
“Making ends meet is a tremendous challenge for many families in our area as they face job layoffs, a poor economy and rising costs,” stated Jan Martin, director of Project Success of Eastern Bureau County Inc. “Looking ahead we foresee a stressful holiday season for many and in response to the anticipated need will once again sponsor Santa’s Workshop.”
Santa’s Workshop operates in a two-fold process. First, the names of children in need are collected by Hall Township Food Pantry volunteers. The giving area includes residents of Arlington, Bureau, Cherry, Dalzell, DePue, Hollowayville, Ladd, Seatonville and Spring Valley. Parents wishing to have their child or children benefit from the program are asked to stop in to sign them up in the Project Success office at 500 N. Terry St. in Spring Valley.
Names will only be accepted from either the parent or guardian with whom the child resides. Parents and guardians must present two forms of identification: photo identification with correct address, plus verification that child resides with them and qualifies for free or reduced price lunch at school. Patrons of Hall Township Food Pantry need only give names. Registration will conclude Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. (No sign-ups will be taken after the deadline.)
Christmas presents will be distributed 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, Dec. 8 at Ladd Community Consolidated School (232 E. Cleveland St., Ladd).
Only parents or guardians with whom the child resides may pick up gifts. There will be no exceptions. The event is for parents only: Children will not be allowed in the gymnasium.
Business, individual sponsorship needed for Santa’s Workshop
The second part of the Santa’s Workshop program involves sponsorship. Local businesses and organizations can participate in the giving program, Stars of Hope. The program challenges the participants to collect and donate Christmas toys for children. Collection boxes and stars with a child’s gender and age are available to businesses or groups wishing to take part. Immaculate Conception Church and St. Anthony’s Church already have “giving trees” full of “stars of hope.” Parishioners from the churches have chosen to collect both toys and outerwear, including winter coats. They select stars from the tree and then return them attached to their toy or coat.
Monetary donations are accepted, and volunteers to assist with shopping can call Project Success at (815) 663-2085.
“Each year more than 800 children receive toys and coats through Santa’s Workshop,” Martin said. “As you might imagine, this is quite a major undertaking requiring a great deal of planning and organization. We are blessed in our community to have wonderful, giving volunteers. People like to help and we certainly need volunteer help.”