A week or two ago, donations of money and toys were running a little low with requests for assistance higher than last year, but a donation of $10,000 was made anonymously and others also made contributions.
“It’s all going to balance out. We’re going to come out OK,” he said.
Donations have come from the recent Cedar Christmas event, Lochinvar provided a “sleigh” full of toys, a local car club contributed for the first time this year and there have been more civic organizations involved as well.
All of the efforts mean that Christmas for All will “come out on the plus side,” Harding said, adding that donations usually continue to come in through Christmas and up until the first of the year. He noted the organization likes to have toys and funds on hand to carry over into the next year.
Christmas for All has had some 3,100 names on its list this year, up by about 700 from last year. The organization works with West Wilson Big Brothers of Mt. Juliet and the Angel Tree program in Watertown in collecting, packing and distributing toys and food items to those less fortunate in the county.
Christmas for All’s distribution efforts for this year will close at 5 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 18, and Big Brothers and the Angel Tree are in the process of finishing up, as well. Harding noted the volunteers who work with the three organizations can then have a chance to plan for their Christmas.
Big Brothers had its annual Mother’s Toy Store this past Saturday at Mt. Juliet Middle School. Harding called it “a good event” that served a number of people in the West Wilson area.
Christmas for All volunteers are trying to contact families regarding boxes of toys that are ready for distribution. Harding said five or six boxes are always left each year for various reasons, but this year there 15 to 18 boxes that have not been claimed.
“We don’t really know why,” he said, but noted that number may not be that much considering there were more names on the list this year.
Volunteers try to track down everyone on the list, but if the families or individuals cannot be found then the items go back into the inventory.
As this year’s effort closes down, Harding said the board and volunteers are already looking toward 2009. “We’re already thinking about next year.”
They usually start meeting in June or July, but they will begin planning for Christmas ’09 in February, Harding said, adding, “I’m concerned next year could be worse.”
He said Christmas for All will work toward becoming more actively involved in toy drives in ’09 and will get better coordinated with the U.S. Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots program. “It’s a good organization.”
For more information, call Christmas for All at 547-1106 or drop by the Turner Evans Building at the Ward Agricultural Center.
Editor Jennifer Horton may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.