A Community Christmas

A Community Christmas A Non-Profit Organization

Our 2018 A Community Christmas Report

INTAKE – Judy Vellucci & Gaylon Brooks

886 families and singles were interviewed over a 9-day period in October, 2018. Of these, 350 families were served by the Adopt-A-Family program, 147 were adult-only families (age 55+ or disabled) and received food vouchers, and 389 families were served by the Christmas Giving Center. Thank you to more than 100 volunteers that made the process run smoothly, and to the American Legion Canton Post 44 for allowing us to use their facility in 2018 and again in 2019. Due to a generous donation from The Canton Repository (together with Employers Health, Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway and 60 other Stark companies), ACC was able to increase the dollar amount of food vouchers given to families and individuals, increase the teen gift card amount and provide an additional gift card to a local store to all 389 families! We gratefully thank The Canton Repository and the Stark 62 for making Christmas merrier for so many people.


ADOPT-A-FAMILY – Brenda Goins

350 families (1310 individuals) were adopted this year – thanks to all the generous donors who graciously provided Christmas for them. We’d also like to thank Pizza Oven (W. Tusc.) for feeding our wonderful volunteers for 2 days: Alan Warnock (our Director of Distribution), Tracy Stevens with her crew of 40 from Dominion Energy, and 25 St. Thomas Aquinas volunteers. A big thank you also goes out to the Peel Coleman Center for hosting our 2018 Adopt-A-Family, and for agreeing to do it again in 2019, which will be Dec. 3 (donor drop off) and Dec. 4 (family pick-up.)


CHRISTMAS GIVING CENTER – Judy Vellucci & Phil Brooks

389 families with 620 children (0-10 years of age) and 341 teens (11-19 years old) were provided a Merry Christmas through the Giving Center. Each child under 11 received 3 new toys, 2-3 used toys, 3 stocking stuffers, 1 stuffed animal and books (2,400 new toys and bikes were supplied by the Marine’s Toys for Tots program, and 400 new and over 1,000 gently used toys were donated by other individuals.) Each child 11-19 years old (in school full time, not college) received a $35 Walmart gift certificated (totaling $11,935). All families received food vouchers from Fishers ($25,080 in total with $750 donated from Fishers Civic Fund.) Families were also able to get clothing from the ACC Closet, coats from Coats for Christmas, and Christmas decorations. To make this 2-day 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 the Stark County Fairgrounds for hosting the 2018 Giving Center and for agreeing to host it again in 2019; Canton Chair Rental for curtains, chairs and tables; Canton Road Nursery for carts; Home Depot (the Strip) for flatbed carts; Leather by Design for use of their trailer; Stark County Correctional for their assistance; Jake and Linda Lepold and Janet Ross for their help; and Sally Gray and Joanne Miller for coordinating the feeding of our volunteers.


ACC CLOSET – Susan Hill & Julie Klee

Over 27,000 items of clothing, shoes, linens and household items were collected, purchased and donated by our generous community. Most items were distributed through ACC’s Christmas Giving Center (held at the Stark County Fairgrounds), with leftover items distributed by the street ministry of Dueber United Methodist Church. 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 were overwhelmed by the generosity of the community and believe this continues to be a very worthwhile program.


MITTEN TREES – Pam Corneliussen

5,706 Mitten Tree items (hats, gloves and scarves) were collected in 2018 from over 20 participating Stark County churches, libraries and businesses. All items collected were distributed through the ACC Christmas 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 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

Over 431 volunteers worked over 9,505 hours at the various programs of A Community Christmas in 2018. 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 Trees 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 and hard work made it possible to give Christmas aid to more than 3,768 Stark County individuals last year through ACC’s various programs.

We are always seeking volunteers, so please call our office at 330-454-3841 and leave a message if you can help us in 2019.


GIVING TREE – Lois Piggott

841 gifts were given to 383 children and 458 adults from tags placed on 22 Giving Trees located throughout Stark County.  Recipients were from many agencies, nursing homes, daycare centers, 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 plus lotion.  We’d like to thank all who took a tag and purchased gifts; The Canton Repository for printing the tags; Books-A-Million for graciously donating many books; our 13 volunteers and drivers who gave us over 343 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 and clothing, which we gave to the Giving Center and St. Stephen Martyr Lutheran Church to supplement the gifts needed for their Breakfast with Santa.


MONETARY DONATIONS – Robert S. Harris

$103,446 in monetary donations from 965 donors were received by A Community Christmas in 2018. We received $21,275 from 9 grants, $23,605 from individual donors, $3,316 from local businesses and churches, and an incredible one-time award of $55,250 from the Canton Repository and 62 of its advertising partners.

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 $46,740 on our clients: $25,080 for food vouchers, $11,935 on teen cards and $9,725 on family gift cards.

Other expenditures included supplemental funding of several ACC programs, plus normal non-profit business operation expenses (rent, insurance, two part-time salaries, phone, storage, accountants, etc.) The remainder will be used to start funding the 2019 program.

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


COATS FOR CHRISTMAS – Chuck Gray

4,750 coats, jackets, sweatshirts and sweaters (new and gently used) were collected from 92 Stark County locations.  950 coats were given out during the Christmas Giving Center at the Stark County Fairgrounds, and the remainder were distributed through: Canton Calvary Mission, Alliance & Canton Salvation Army sites, Crystal Park United Methodist Church Mission, Refuge of Hope, Total Living Center, Dueber United Methodist Church, Breath of Life Mission and CommQuest Family Shelter in Massillon, Stark Regional Community Correction Center and The Stark County Court of Common Pleas’ Day Reporting Program.  500 light-weight coats and sweatshirts were also given to the World Mission in exchange for winter coats.

Thousands of fellow residents received much-needed winter coats and warmth during winter and the holiday season. A special thank you to our 11 route drivers and placed/retrieved boxes and collected coats every week from late September to mid-December.


FOOD DONORS – Sally Gray

FIVE local eateries provided lunch and snacks to our many volunteers during ACC’s various programs. Thank you to all the volunteers who donated food, as well as these businesses:

  • Chick-Fil-A (Belden)
  • Einstein Bros. Bagels (N. Canton)
  • Mary Ann Donuts (N. Canton)
  • Pizza Oven (W. Tusc)
  • Zepp’s Pizza (N. Canton)

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