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Christmas Happiness campaign begins

By Shavonne Potts
spotts@salisburypost.com
The year has been hard for people suffering through a poor economy, many of whom have lost their jobs.
No doubt some parents are wondering how they’ll bring money into the home. Children may be wondering if they’ll get Christmas presents this year.
That’s where you come in.
The Salisbury Post and the Rowan County Department of Social Services hope you’ll help those children by making a donation to Christmas Happiness.
This will be the fund’s 58th year, with the Post accepting donations from readers and Social Services distributing the funds in the form of vouchers to qualifying families.
The Post lists the donations in the paper each day, Tuesday-Saturday.
Christmas Happiness is off to a good start today, with the Post kicking in the initial $1,000 and others making donations that bring the first-day total to $5,885.
The Post and DSS are hoping for much more.
“We want to have enough funds for everybody who qualifies and applies,” Social Services Director Sandra Wilkes said.
“We are seeing an increase in all of our public assistance programs. With the poor economy, job layoffs, people don’t have money left for Christmas.”
Christmas Happiness began in 1952 when Mrs. Paul Donnelly, chief of the County Welfare Office, approached then Post Editor Spencer Murphy about raising money to buy items like toys, clothing and food for a few struggling families.
That first year, people raised $1,801 for 600 children.
Over the years, the numbers have grown. In 2007, the fund helped 2,056 children.
And last year, Post readers contributed $73,360.18 to buy Christmas gifts for 3,576 children.
The gifts come from all over, from checks worth thousands of dollars to coins collected by children. Every penny helps provide a present for a child on Christmas Day.
Families who qualify for Christmas Happiness will receive a $25 voucher per child in the home under the age of 18, or a maximum of $100 per family.
Wilkes said about $13,000 is carried over from last year’s donations, which will help start this year’s fund.
Contributions can be brought to the Salisbury Post, 131 W. Innes St., between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays or mailed to The Salisbury Post Christmas Happiness Fund, P.O. Box 4639 Salisbury, NC 28145-4639.
Please make checks payable to the Christmas Happiness Fund and indicate how you want your donation listed.
Here are the contributions for the first day:
Salisbury Post, $1,000.
In memory of Haden Hurley, $1,000.
In memory of our deceased sisters, by Gamma Theta of ADK, $265.
In loving honor of Irene Field, Katherine Goodman and Mimi Parrott. In loving memory of Helen Black, Sybil Efird, CoCo Murphy, Annette Snider and Evelyn Wagoner, by The Members of LeJeudi Book Club, $270
Steppin’ Out Social Club, $50.
Preface Book Club, $125.
For DCW from CDS, $300.
In memory of Donald Eugene and Timothy Jon Sunding, $200.
Anonymous, $250.
In memory of Dewey and Julia Miller by Judy Miller, $25.
In honor of all ladies who give their time to serve Salisbury Rotary Club, by the Charity League of Salisbury, $500.
In honor of Pete Connor by Unity Sunday School Class, $50.
In honor of Charles Dunlap, friendship unequalled, by Julie and Ott Pinkston, Alex and Gary Kenny, $25.
In honor of Katherine Murdoch, decorator extraordinaire, by Julie and Ott Pinkston, Alex and Gary Kenny, $25.
In memory of my parents, John and Virginia Earnhardt, by Chris Earnhardt, $1,000.
In honor of my granddaughter, Caylee Margaret Sheets, by Chris Earnhardt, $500.
Yadkin United Methodist Women $100.
In honor of Amanda by HoHo and PaPa, $50.
In memory of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Thompson, $50.
Christian Reid Book Club, $100.
Total$5,885.

Click here if you’d like to know how to apply.

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