A Community Christmas

A Community Christmas A Non-Profit Organization

Our 2017 A Community Christmas Report

INTAKE – Donna Craig & Janet Ross

827 families were interviewed over a 9-day period in October, 2017. Of these families, 332 families were served by the Adopt-A-Family program, 166 were adult-only families (age 55+ or disabled) and received food vouchers, and 329 families were served through our Christmas Giving Center. Thank you to our more than 90 volunteers that made the process run smoothly, and to the American Legion Canton Post 44 for allowing us to use their facility in 2017 and again in 2018.  Our total number of 2017 families interviewed was lower than in previous years, but we found out that several Head Start agencies didn’t notify their families of our sign-up dates — we’ll work on a solution for the 2018 program.


ADOPT-A-FAMILY – Brenda Goins

332 families (1,302 individuals) were adopted this year, thanks to all the generous donors who praciously provided Christmas for them.  We’d also like to thank Pizza Oven (W. Tusc.) and Dunkin’ Donuts (Fulton Dr.) for feeding our wonderful volunteers for 2 days: Alan Warnock (our Director of Distribution), Tracy Stevens with her crew of 75 from Dominion Energy, and 12 St. Thomas Aquinas volunteers.  A big thank you also goes out to the Peel Coleman Center for hosting our 2017 Adopt-A-Family, and for agreeing to do it again in 2018, which will be Dec. 4 (donor drop off) and Dec. 5 (family pick-up).


CHRISTMAS GIVING CENTER – Jake Lebold & Jim Hinderer

329 families with 505 children (0-10 years of age) and 287 teens (11-19 years old) were provided with a Merry Christmas this year over a two-day period. To make this program a success, we had over 50 volunteers helping with set up, registration assistance, stocking, shopping (with clients), traffic control, package handling and cleanup – thank you.

We also thank Tom Jackson of Tom Jackson Commercial Realty for helping us find a 2017 Giving Center location (thank you to the building owner as well); Canton Chair Rental for curtains, chairs and tables; Home Depot (Canton Rd) for flatbed carts; Stark County Correctional for their assistance; Aldi’s; and Jake and Linda Lepold.

As in the past, each child under 11 received 3 new toys, 1 used toy, 3 stocking stuffers, 1 stuffed animal and 3 books (3,000 toys and 25 bikes were supplied by the Marine’s Toys for Tots program, and 200 new and slightly used toys were donated by other sources).  Each child 11-19 years old (in school full time, not college) received a $20 Walmart gift certificate.  All families received food vouchers from Fishers, and were able to get clothing from the ACC Closet, coats from our Coats for Christmas, and Christmas decorations (we gladly accepted any Christmas decorations in good shape).  2017 had the least amount of Giving Center no shows, so we’ll continue our calling initiative to minimize them.


ACC CLOSET – Susan Hill & Julie Klee

Over 25,000 items of clothing, shoes, bedding and household items were collected, purchased and donated by our generous community.  These items were available to the 329 families that came to the Christmas Giving Center, and all leftover items were distributed by two local churches.

Thank you to our volunteers who spent many hours setting up and restocking at the Giving Center, and those that helped our clients shop.  We believe this continues to be a very worthwhile program for A Community Christmas.


MITTEN TREES – Pam Corneliussen

5,638 Mitten Tree items (hats, gloves and scarves) were collected in 2017 from over 20 participating Stark County churches, libraries and businesses. All items collected were distributed through the Giving Center, many Stark County schools, and local health departments and community clinics.  We are incredibly thankful to the many individuals and organizations that support the Mitten Tree Program by putting up a tree and donating items, and thank Trinity United Church by putting up a tree and donating items, and thank Trinity United Church of Christ for being our collection site.  We are blessed to be able to help so many children and adults in Stark County.


VOLUNTEERS – Susan Hill and Julie Klee

342 volunteers worked over 8,335 hours at the various programs of A Community Christmas in 2017. Although these numbers seem incredibly high, they do not include the many unknown donors of gifts for our Adopt-A-Families and The Giving Tree tags, as well as those donating items to Coats for Christmas, the Mitten Tree and the ACC Closet.

In addition, many hours were spent picking up donations from various residents and businesses around our community.  The volunteers’ dedication of time, enthusiasm, suggestions and hard work made it possible to give Christmas aid to more than 827 Stark County families last year.

We are always seeking volunteers, so please call our office at 330-454-3841 and leave a message if you can help us in 2018.


GIVING TREE – Lois Piggott

869 gifts were given to 451 seniors and 411 children from tags placed on 20 Giving Trees located throughout Stark County.  Recipients were from many agencies, nursing homes, day care centers and head start programs, as well as mentally and physically challenged children and adults.  Each child received a toy, clothing, and a book, while each adult received a gift or lap quilt.  We’d like to thank all who took a tag and purchased gifts; The Canton Repository for printing the tags; Books-A-Million for providing books for all the children; our 20 volunteers and drivers who gave us over 340 hours of their time; and our Giving Tree location sites, especially Belden Village Mall and the North Canton YMCA, who kept calling for more tags.  This year we even received some extra gifts, which we gave to the Giving Center.


MONETARY DONATIONS – Robert S. Harris

$54,303 in monetary donations were received by A Community Christmas in 2017. We received 11 grants totaling $21,250, and many generous companies, organizations and individuals made donations totaling $33,053.  We are truly amazed and appreciative of the community’s outpouring of donations in all forms (toys, books, gifts, clothing, volunteer hours and monies).  As a result, A Community Christmas was able to provide Christmas to all families that applied for help.  We were also able to spend $21,943 on our clients: $15,943 for food vouchers ($14,443 + $1,500 donated from Fishers Civic Fund – thank you) and $6,000 on teen gift certificates.  The remainder was used for normal non-profit business operations (rent, insurance, phone, storage, accountants, two part-time salaries, etc.) with enough left over to start funding the 2018 program.

This was truly a great year of giving…and receiving – Thank you!


COATS FOR CHRISTMAS – Chuck Gray

4,278 coats, jackets, sweatshirts and sweaters (new and gently used) were collected from 920 Stark County locations.  912 coats were given out during our two-day Christmas Giving Center and the remainder were distributed through: Canton Calvary Mission, Alliance & Massillon Salvation Army sites Total Living Center, Joy Helping Neighbors, Crystal Park United Methodist Church Mission, Alliance for Children and Families, Christ Presbyterian Church, Dueber United Methodist Church, Stark Regional Community Correction Center, and Refuge of Hope.  720 light-weight coats and sweatshirts were also distributed in the Spring of 2018

Thank you to our coat route volunteers –we started with 10 but 4 had to resign, so we will need at least 3 new route volunteers for 2018.

Thousands of people received much needed winter coats and perhaps a little bit of unexpected love this holiday season, so it was a very successful year!

 

 

 Special thanks to our Grant Providers whose provision of funds help to make our organization and noble cause possible.