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Community helps nearly 400 families, 900 children through Christmas Happiness

By Shavonne Potts
shavonne.potts@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — This year, the community dug deep into their pockets at a time where many around the world are in need and donated more than $42,500 to nearly 400 families and almost 900 children through the Christmas Happiness Fund.

The fund was created nearly 70 years ago after then-Salisbury Post Editor Spencer Murphy spoke to Lucille Donnelly, who was head of Rowan Social Services at the time who said some Rowan County children would receive very little that Christmas.

Murphy asked readers in an editorial to help those children receive gifts for Christmas.

In the first year, the community contributed and raised $1,811.41. Over the years the need grew as does the number of people who need assistance.

The community donates money to the fund, which is collected by the Salisbury Post. All money collected is then given to the Rowan County Salvation Army, which issues gift cards to families to buy presents.

This year, like every year, Janice and Karl Dahlin, who head the local Salvation Army, have one goal. That is to give families hope.

Janice said often the families don’t know if their children will receive any gifts. Some have lost jobs during the pandemic and others have contracted COVID-19.

“We tell the families, ‘I want to give you hope and joy and to know someone cares,'” Janice said.

She said they were amazed by the donations from the community this year. This year, the community donated a total of $42,586.90.

Any donations received after Christmas are used to start next year’s fund.

Today’s contributions are

• Crown in Glory Lutheran Church, $100

• In honor of Sandy S. Combs and Cindy Fink of Rowan Meals on Wheels from James Fowler, $100

• In honor and memory of Susan Fowler Stafford and Sara Fowler Stafford from James Fowler, $65

• In honor of my late husband, John “Buddy” Thomason and in honor of our children and grandchildren by Barbara O. Thomason, $100

• Peripatetic Reviewers Book Club, $100

• In honor of our teachers, our principal and the staff of Rockwell Elementary School by Nolan and Carter Earnhardt, $40

• Richard and Judy Kluttz, $200

• In honor of medical emergency workers, police and firemen and frontline medical workers by Jimmy and Pam Whitman, $200

• In honor of our grandchildren, Miya and Evan, and in memory of our granddaughter, Kendra from Willie and Ethel Evans, $35

• In honor of grandmama and Pinky love Julie, Baxter, Lola, Izzy and Tax, $25

• In memory of VA and Frances McKinney by Jill and Short Lyerly, $25

• In honor of Jim and Bobbie Lyerly by Jill and Short Lyerly $25

• In memory of co-workers at R.W. Normans and other friends – E.E. Lampert Sr., Ilene Wise, Irene Ritchie, Tripp Lampert, Kathleen Gray, West Spain, Ann Myers, Don Barger, Blanche Lampert, Norman Beaver, Rosemary Spain, Maxine Carlton, Walter Wise, Ruth Cline, Joyce Peeler, Herman Peeler, Pinkey Trexler, Sid Pinkston and Robert Vanore — by “Pocita” and “Swicy,” $20

• Elaine Howle, $100

• In honor of the staff and clients at Rowan Vocational Opportunities by Tim and Karen Deal, $25

• In memory of Lillie Nelson and Margaret Rush by Delta Xi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., $200

• In memory of our mothers, Jane Monroe and Hilda Hart by Gary and Tam Powers, $100

Daily total: $1,460

Running total: $42,586.90

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