Christmas Happiness: You helped make today special for many a child
Salisbury Post readers have done it again. The Post’s Christmas Happiness Fund, which you generously support, has raised enough money to help hundreds of families have something under the tree for their children today.
As of Friday, Christmas Happiness had collected $55,499.57, which was more than enough to fulfill this year’s requests for help. We know from experience that more donations will come in before the year is out. Whatever we receive will help get the fund started in 2017.
Capt. NaKisha Carr, corps officer for the Salvation Army in Salisbury, reported early last week that the agency had helped 1,272 children through Christmas Happiness so far. At that point, the agency had one more day to take emergency applications, so final figures are still to come.
Most of the funds are distributed in $35 vouchers for parents to buy gifts for their children. This year, the Salvation Army also used some funds to buy clothing and toys for families that could not do that shopping themselves.
Carr was confident Christmas Happiness would cover all of this year’s requests.
“We are definitely saving the funds over and above to have a head start on next year,” she said.
Christmas Happiness started in 1952 under the leadership of Spencer Murphy, then editor of the Salisbury Post, and Lucille Donnelly, head of the county Welfare Department. They knew Christmas would be just another day for hundreds of children in Rowan County, and they appealed to the public to brighten the holiday for those families.
That partnership continued for half a century, until it was no longer practical for the Department of Social Services to administer the fund. The Salvation Army stepped up take on the job in 2013.
At the same time, the Rowan County United Way took the lead in reviving the Christmas Bureau to take applications for Christmas Happiness, the Salvation Army Angel Tree, Toys for Tots, Project Santa and more. Volunteers took applications on specific dates at the Hurley YMCA. Life Church helped later by hosting distribution.
The Salisbury Post is grateful to all those agencies and volunteers; Christmas Happiness would not work without their considerable help.
The most important partnership, though, is between the Salisbury Post’s Christmas Happiness Fund and the many people in our community who give to it each year. From children collecting pennies to families who have sent Christmas Happiness checks for generations, you demonstrate love in action, donating money to help children you do not even know.
Thank you for filling a void in those children’s lives. Thank you for bringing joy and happiness to a child on Christmas Day.
— Elizabeth Cook, editor