Friday, November 13, 2015

Christmas Baskets Program - You are Invited to Help

Every year a local Kiwanis group sponsors a “Christmas Baskets” program to help the children at Berryhill school.
Berryhill is an elementary school in Charlotte, NC with children and families that are struggling.  This is probably true at many schools in our area, but this is the school they selected.  And the Communities in Schools program facilitates this with Berryhill.
You are invited to help or donate funds.
Please contact Cassandra at the office, (704-376-8881) or email ( She will put you in touch with the right person.
Below are details with some explanation.  You will be glad you gave; it is not hard to do.
What is it really?
Families with children at Berryhill elementary school sign up, asking for help.
We provide about $75 of food and other ‘essentials’ per family. (Donations toward this are gladly accepted by that Kiwanis group.  They do the shopping. I suppose you could help them shop.  Or find a firm to donate some items.)  The families typically do not have the funds for a holiday meal.  And, again, it is not only food, other basic necessities are requested.
People select specific families to buy presents for.  Basically, presents for the children. Typically, they need clothes, shoes and similar basics.  They also want toys and games, to have a festive holiday.
So, you are invited to ‘take a family’ and buy presents for them, (3 kids and a mother, for example).  They are most grateful.  You will receive a sheet with ‘requests’ and clothing sizes and ages), get a ‘return receipt’ (often the sizes will be off), wrap the presents and then deliver them.
You do not have to do the delivery; but I recommend it.  I believe the delivery will happen on November 19th.  I have had my daughters participate in the deliver every year for many years now.  It is a good experience for them.  It should respect for the receipts (whom we are helping, but really only helping a little bit), and it… it changes you.
On the delivery day, you will work briefly with a group of people who volunteered for this.  Some coffee and donuts.  Some briefly friendly chatter.  Some work (organizing stuff into boxes).  Some packing into cars.  Maybe a picture.  This is done at a church that is roughly near the Harris Y (but toward South Park Mall).
Some of the families who ask for help have their ‘act together’ to a good degree.  They may not have much money, but they are making progress, getting there.  Other families are struggling more.  It is a fairly wide range. But all the kids, as I recall over the years, all the kids are optimistic and have their whole lives ahead of them. They are always ‘playful puppies’ (if you do not mind a ‘masculine metaphor’ covering boys, girls, and all kinds of kids).  They have happy eyes, and they are eager to learn.
It is not very much work (especially if you do the shopping with your children and let them help with the wrapping).  It is fairly easy to do — when you deliver, the people are friendly, you talk with them briefly, wish them Merry Christmas (or sometimes Happy Holidays), and then you are on your way.
You will be glad you did it.
If you are interested in participating, please contact Cassandra at the office (704-376-8881) or via email, and she will put you in touch with the right person.

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