Caring souls in majority

  • Posted: Saturday, December 22, 2012 6:39 p.m.
    UPDATED: Monday, December 24, 2012 11:32 a.m.

In a world that seems to have run amok, certain constants reassure us that caring souls are still in the majority and all is not lost.

Christmas Happiness is one of those constants.

This year, as in some 60 years before, Salisbury Post readers have donated funds to make sure children have Christmas presents, even if gifts are a luxury their parents cannot afford. To date, you have given more than $57,000. You have helped fund $25 vouchers for 2,669 children in 1,079 families. Thank you.

The Rowan County Department of Social Services is another constant, always there to help people in need — even working with the Post to distribute Christmas Happiness to deserving families. Post readers and Social Services drive the Christmas Happiness program. The Post just brings them together and publishes the list of givers. That’s the easy part.

Christmas Happiness could well have fallen by the wayside. Social Services has been nearly overwhelmed in recent years by demands for its services, putting great pressure on its staff. Last year, the agency’s board decided it was time to withdraw from the program and let the Post find another partner. But Donna Fayko, who took over as head of the agency this year, wanted to give Christmas Happiness one more try, and the board supported her. She streamlined the process to take less of her staff’s time. For the first time, volunteers helped take applications for Christmas Happiness, which took place on three Saturdays. The process ran smoothly. Still, several agency employees had to be on hand, and their role in the program remains the key.

The Post is even more grateful than usual to the many people at Social Services who help with the program, and we’re as thankful as ever for the readers who share their blessings through Christmas Happiness. Your generosity is amazing. We already have a good start on next year’s fund and cannot thank you enough.

Christmas Happiness exists because Lucille Donnelly, then head of the county’s Welfare Department, brought the needs of Rowan children to the attention of Post Editor Spencer Murphy. He could not stand the thought of children waking up to find Christmas was just another day with no presents or treats. Together, Murphy and Donnelly launched Christmas Happiness in 1952 — 60 years ago.

Next year, we hope to work with Social Services and others to create a Christmas bureau. Several programs in the community reach out to help families during the holidays now; a bureau might help coordinate their distributions and streamline their labor.

In the meantime, we thank you for giving to Christmas Happiness this year and helping more than 2,600 children. Generosity may be a constant in Salisbury-Rowan, but we never take it for granted. Thank you.

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