With a Christmas list 1,576 children long and only 481 names sponsored, there’s a whopping lot of shopping left to do for the annual Season of Hope charity Christmas effort.
And there’s not yet enough money to accomplish it. Donations are at least $2,000 short.
“I have $3,000 on hand and three schools to shop for and that nowhere near does it,” said Al Sullivan, with the St. Francois Community Partnership. “We need at least $5,000 to be on the safe side. It’s a makeable goal, if people are willing to help. Even $25 will help tremendously.”
Season of Hope annually runs a program county-wide to provide Christmas gifts to children in families that have fallen on hard economic times. Contributions are tax deductible.
For information about donating to the project, call 431-3173. The deadline has passed for adopting a family, but donations of items and cash are still being accepted so that all the wish lists can be filled.
Sullivan explained the money is used to shop for specific clothing and other items on the children’s wish lists so that each child gets at least one thing they’ve asked for. Gifts total about $74 per child.
“Clothing items are one of the main things,” Sullivan added. “These kids need it, because they just don’t have that much.”
There have been a number of last-minute calls seeking to get on the list, but unfortunately the deadline passed some time ago. “We have to have a cut-off to get this organized,” Sullivan said. “There’s no way we can do something of this magnitude and be open-ended. At this point, I have got to get the 1,576 shopped for that I have a commitment to, and then I will take anyone else I can. But I can’t wait until the 15th, 16th of December to do it. If 1,500 people all did that I wouldn’t be able to help them.”
Sullivan acknowledged that difficulties with the economy are affecting a lot of the charitable efforts going on right now.
“I know another program that’s really hurting too is the Park Hills-Leadington Chamber,” he said. “They have 100 foster children and that’s separate from Shop With a Cop and the Partnership’s program. That’s a big project there to serve the kids in foster homes and they’ve got a hundred children.
“Those who can give really need to consider some of these organizations that can give and help. It’s a tough year, much tougher than last year. The recession has hit us later.”
Sullivan said he is grateful for all the help so far. He and the program volunteers expressed confidence in the community’s generosity and said they are counting on it to pull through once again.
“Everyone always wishes they could do more,” said Tiffany Creamer, managing the drop-off desk one day for Season of Hope gifts. “As long as everyone does what they can, it always seems to get done somehow.”
Renée Jean can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 117 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.