Monday, January 18, 2010

Christmas Fund Letter 20

Dear Supporter,

Our Children’s Christmas Party is always our biggest event of the year. As you can guess, it is also the most costly event. Each year at Christmas time numerous people stop by the Police Center with a gift or donation for our Children’s Christmas Party. Truly, the saying, “Many hands make light work” is true when it comes to explaining how it is possible for us to hold such a huge party. This year has been a tight year financially for the Police Center. As the final months of the year are approaching, I am a bit on edge, wondering if we are going to pay our bills and still have funds available for our programs. We have almost made it, but we still have a month’s worth of bills and a Christmas Party in front of us. As we move forward with our plans for the Children’s Christmas Party, I am hoping people will continue, as in years past, to make us a part of their Christmas giving. I am still a little anxious about the thought of finding the resources required to host a party that each year serves almost 1,000 children. It’s not only the gift for each child that is needed. We also need wrapping paper, name tags (self-stick), tape, snacks, drinks, coffee, cups, paper plates, napkins, paper towels, toilet paper, hand soap, trash bags, ink cartridges & photo paper for photo w/Santa (Poloroid film is no longer easily available). When you multiply all of this by 1,000 you find the $$$ quickly adds up.

The Christmas Party is planned for Saturday December 19th , 11:00am-6:00pm. We need numerous volunteers for various jobs on the day of the event and prior to the event. On two separate evenings (the weekdays before the party) we will be bringing gifts to Senior Centers to be wrapped. One night at Salina School Apts. from 6:00pm-9:00pm and another night from 6:00pm-9:00pm at Franklin Square Apts. Volunteers are needed both nights. Also, if you have children who would like to help before the event, I need help picking out the gifts. We will be doing this on several evenings once we begin receiving toys. On the day of the party, volunteers are needed to sign children in, serve food, wrap gifts, take photos with Santa, print the photos with Santa, give out gifts, manage trash receptacles and answer phones. If I know in advance the number of volunteers I have coming for the party, I am able to break the day down into shifts and offer volunteers the opportunity to rotate assignments. Please call me if you would like to volunteer.

I have seen an increase in the number of homeless folks who stop by the Police Center to pick up clothing. The word must have gotten out that I allow them to take what they need without charging them (they only take what they use). Anyone who has used clothing, coats, hats, or gloves and would like to drop them off, I am sure they will be useful for these folks. I am particularly looking for a pair of size 13 work shoes for one of the guys.

We are facing tough economic times right now. Many people are in desperate situations. Several of the families who have come in to sign up for the Christmas Party have asked me if I know where they might find a job. Even the jobs requiring unskilled labor are competitive today. When families sign up I have been making side notes of the ones whom I believe could use a little extra help (it seems there are a lot more this year). We will do what we can for them. If anyone wants to add some canned goods to their donations, we will use them for food baskets to help these families. I have a feeling a lot of gifts will leave the Center unopened this year and be saved for opening on Christmas Day.

I apologize for mentioning so many different things we could use. I understand all of our budgets are stressed by these economically challenging times. Do only what you are able. Please remember, some things don’t require a monetary commitment, like donating your time. Volunteer at the Police Center, ring a kettle bell for the Salvation Army, or help feed the hungry at the Rescue Mission. These are all good lessons to model for your children. Demonstrate your charitableness now, and chances are good they will follow your training and support those in need when they are adults.

Donations of any of the above, or monetary donations to help us purchase the items, will help make the Christmas Party possible. I would like to thank you for your continued support to the Police Center Programs. Your support makes a tremendous difference in the lives of the families we serve.

Wishing you a safe and happy Holiday Season,

Officer Clarke

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