— “I would just like to say ‘Thank you’ so much for helping me with a gift for my two kids. It makes me so happy to see Abbigal and Sabian smile. My kids are my world and all I want in life is for them to be happy. You all helped that happen.”
That was handwritten on a card sent to us last week. It was from a mother who was helped by The Tribune-Democrat Santa Fund. It was addressed “To everyone who put together the Santa Fund.”
It could just as easily been addressed “To everyone who donated to the Santa Fund.”
That’s because without the help of the caring people who support the fund we wouldn’t be able to help so many in our region. A week ago, we ran a full-page ad thanking the Santa Fund donors, and it was an impressive list.
* Nearly 430 donors appeared on the page.
* Donations were made by individuals, couples and families, businesses and fraternal organizations, anonymous contributors and in memory of a loved one.
* More than half of the donors had Johnstown addresses, but others came from outlying areas such as Armagh, Berlin, Ebensburg, Nanty Glo, Northern Cambria, Sidman and Windber. Donors stretched across the state, from Greensburg to York. Out-of-staters even got in on the act, with donations rolling in from places such as Chantilly, Va., and New Orleans.
From Mike Adams of Ebensburg to Mike and Missy Zborovancik of Stoystown,
our donors run the gamut,literally from A to Z. The size of donations also are wide-ranging, from a few dollars by private individuals to larger donations by local businesses.
The one thing that unites them is desire to help the less fortunate in our area.
Together, they contributed nearly $25,000 to the Santa Fund. That helped make Christmas brighter for 1,800 children by providing them with a gift.
The fund is in its sixth year, and it takes plenty of work to put it together. Organizers begin meeting months in advance of Christmas and work tirelessly to plan and put together the program.
Representatives from a number of local groups – including the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, the Community Action Partnership of Cambria County, the Alternative Community Resource Program’s Family Center, AmeriCorps, United Way and Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania, as well as Boscov’s – come together to raise money, find needy individuals, buy gifts and distribute them to local families.
The Santa Fund would not be possible without the time and effort that these unsung heroes contribute.
While we’d love to see the economy improve to the point where the Santa Fund
is no longer necessary, we realize that is not going to happen. Because of that, we’re proud to be a part of the Santa Fund and thank each person who contributed to it this year.