Charities continue to bring holiday cheer to unfortunate families
December 20, 2010 • Megan Isom, Staff Writer
Filed under Feature
Christmastime, for most, is all about the giving and receiving of gifts. Children wait anxiously to go down their stairs to see what Santa left for them under the tree, and parents are excited to see their child’s face when they open their gifts.
Unfortunately, there are some children who don’t have the picture perfect Christmas morning. Parents lose their jobs, family members become ill, and sometimes there just isn’t enough money to go around.
No child should have to go through Christmas without receiving at least one gift from Santa. A mother should never have to explain to their child why Santa didn’t visit. Charities help these needy families to have presents for their children for Christmas.
Every year, arriving along with the snow and the holiday season, come the ringing of the bells and the red kettles outside the neighborhood grocery store or shopping mall. Shoppers, donating their spare change to the “street corner Santa” rush along in the biting wind. That ‘penny here, penny there’ could provide a life changing experience for a child on Christmas morning.
The Salvation Army is the organization in charge of all this. The donations provide Christmas dinners, clothing, and toys for families in need. Volunteers distribute gifts to hospitals and nursing homes, and shelters are open for sit-down dinners. They are aiming to carry on the “real meaning of the season.”
The red kettle fundraiser is the Salvation Army’s most prominent fundraiser – and it’s growing. According to the Salvation Army website, around this time last year they were serving 5,000 families nationwide, and this year the number has grown to over 7,000. The kettle tradition started in 1891 in San Francisco, and since has spread all over the globe.
There are many other organizations that have special Christmas fundraisers for needy families. Another popular event is the Toys for Tots organization. The program is run by the United States Marines. They collect new unwrapped gifts from October to December and distribute them to needy families a few days before Christmas. This fundraiser runs nationwide and collects millions of toys for kids all over America.
The American Red Cross also runs a yearly charity around the Christmas season, their Holiday Campaign. They have volunteers from around the country deliver presents on Christmas morning to places that might have not had any, like orphanages, hospitals, and even nursing homes.
Without these charities, many children throughout America would not have anything to open on Christmas, nothing from Santa. They would not have Christmas memories to carry throughout their lives.