“The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.” – “The Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Moore.
Almost every child dreams of a toy-filled holiday, but many children in our region will awaken Christmas morning to the realization that they will have no bright, sparkling play things awaiting them under a tree. And sadly, some might not even have a tree.
In an effort to provide as many children as possible the opportunity to enjoy the thrills of discovering brightly wrapped gifts, The Tribune-Democrat has launched its annual Santa Fund. Now in its seventh year, the project provides help for moms and dads who, sadly, might not have the money to buy gifts.
“This is something people can do to help that’s just nice,” Mike Kane, executive director of Community Foundations for the Alleghenies, told our Kelly Urban. Community Foundations manages the Santa Fund for The Tribune-Democrat. “The community has really embraced this, especially the wonderful donors. Every penny that comes in goes toward buying the toys.”
Last year, more than $35,000 was raised through donations and proceeds from the Santa Fund Soccer Classic. That’s up from the $27,500 collected the previous year. And the money helped to put smiles on the faces of more than 1,000 area youngsters.
“We ask that those who can afford to make a donation, no matter how big or small, remember those less fortunate,” Tribune-Democrat Editor Eric Knopsnyder told Urban.
We understand that the slumping economy has forced many individuals and households to keep extremely tight reins on their checkbooks. But there are ways people can help.
If you eat out on a regular basis, consider eating at home for one or several of those meals and donating what you would have spent at a restaurant to the Santa Fund.
Or families could decide to purchase one less gift to exchange among themselves and instead donate that money to the Santa Fund. We often hear about, and report on, heartwarming stories of children foregoing birthday or holiday gifts and asking instead that the money be donated to a charity.
Most of us can remember, when we were kids, how special Christmas mornings were. Some might say they were
almost magical. We’re asking that they reconnect with their childhood, dig into their pockets a little deeper and remember the less fortunate this holiday season.
Help put a smile on a youngster’s face.
How to help
Send donations to:
Tribune-Democrat Santa Fund, Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, 116 Market St., Suite 4, Johnstown, Pa. 15901.