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Editorial: Help a child this Christmas

“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

—Matthew 25:40, NIV

The Salisbury Post’s Christmas Happiness Fund launches on Thanksgiving Day, and we look forward to helping the community connect once again with families that need help during the holidays.

The fund started in 1952, when Editor Spencer Murphy put out a call for donations. He had learned from Lucille Donnelly, head of the county Welfare Department, that many families would be doing without gifts for their children that Christmas. “Help!” Murphy wrote in an editorial, and asked Post readers to chip in. A total of $1,811.41 came in.

Last year your compassionate gifts totaled more than $47,000 by Christmas Eve, and money continued to come in. Through the years, Christmas Happiness has touched thousands of lives, proof again that this is a caring community.

Decades after Christmas Happiness started, we have technology and resources that Murphy and Donnelly never imagined. Yet poverty persists, even amid stable economic times, and it hits children hardest. Child poverty in Rowan County jumped to nearly 28 percent in 2013. The situation has improved, but over half of Rowan’s children live in poor or low-income households where providing food and shelter can be a challenge, and gifts are a luxury. 

And by “gifts” we don’t always mean toys. When the Christmas Bureau took applications for help this year, most parents said they needed clothes for their growing children. Christmas Happiness is as likely to provide coats and shoes as dolls and soccer balls.

Please send checks made out to “Christmas Happiness” to P.O. Box 4639, Salisbury, NC, 28144 — and help a child. Be sure to note if your gift should be listed in the paper as being in honor or memory of someone special.

The Post turns all the funds over to the Salvation Army to distribute as vouchers to help families choose what their children need, and to help fulfill Angel Tree requests.

Please help ensure the children of Rowan County feel the joy of the holidays this year. Please give to Christmas Happiness. Thank you.

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