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And again we say ‘Help!’

Imagine what this time of year feels like for children who see the world around them celebrating the joy and generosity of Christmas, while their own families struggle for the necessities of food, clothing and shelter.

That was the scenario Post Editor Spencer Murphy was presented in late 1952 as Christmas neared. Lucille Donnelly, head of the county welfare department, told Murphy many people in Rowan County were unable to provide even the smallest gifts for family members that year. For their children, Christmas wouldn’t be much different from any other day — unless miracles happened.

Murphy was known for his compassion, and he would not let those children be left out. He responded by starting the Christmas Happiness Fund, described to Post readers in an editorial with the headline, “Help!” That year, the fund collected just over $1,800 in Post readers’ donations that were then given to the welfare department to distribute to families in need.

This year the Post is saying “Help!” again.  Already some 266 families with 500 children have signed up for Christmas Happiness help, and hundreds more are expected to apply. If all goes well, they’ll receive a $30 voucher per child to be spent on toys, clothes or shoes.

Applications will be taken on one more day, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, at the Hurley YMCA. Volunteers with the Christmas Bureau will be on hand to take applications for several programs which help families at Christmas.)

Christmas Happiness runs much as it did when Murphy launched it in 1952. Post readers generously contribute to the fund, and now the Salvation Army distributes the money in the form of gift cards or vouchers.

As you and your family give thanks for your many blessings this Thanksgiving, consider paying it forward by helping a child. Contributions to Christmas Happiness help children in need know the anticipation and joy of receiving a Christmas gift.

Murphy’s plea still rings true for Christmas Happiness:

“Time is short. If you would like to help make a miracle, won’t you hurry?”

Contributions to Christmas Happiness may be delivered to the Salisbury Post, 131 W. Innes St., between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays or mailed to Salisbury Post Christmas Happiness Fund, P.O. Box 4639, Salisbury, N.C. 28145-4639. Please make checks payable to Christmas Happiness Fund and indicate how you want your donation listed.

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