We are entering the holiday season. Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and Christmas will be here before you know it.
More than ever, it is important for all of us to remember those less fortunate than ourselves during this time of year. One great way to do that is to donate to charities that center around making children happy, and meeting their needs as well.
There are so many worthy charities you can choose to support. There are some that raise money, some that request and redistribute clothing, and others that provide for children both nationally and in their own community. While you should always check out their reputation before donating, you certainly have a wide range of excellent choices you can help.
And chief among them locally is “Christmas Is For Kids.”
Serving the children of Attleboro, North Attleboro, Plainville, Norton, Seekonk and Rehoboth, “Christmas Is For Kids” is an all-volunteer program sponsored by the Attleboro Area Council for Children. It aids close to 1,000 children each year at Christmas time, and does it in a way that’s a bit different from most other organizations.
At “Christmas Is For Kids”, the emphasis is on helping kids get what they actually want for Christmas — what they ask for, rather than what others think they need. It’s an organization and a system built around making the act of giving just as wonderful as the joy of receiving. And it works.
In short, their plan is asking kids what they want and then matching them up with generous folks who want to give it to them. Donors select a kid (anonymously, of course) and agree to get them gifts they have requested. They also accept monetary donations, but the emphasis is on the personal approach.
Identities are protected, but dreams are realized. Sometimes those “dreams” are just a warm winter coat, new clothes to wear to school, or in one memorable case the first real bed of his own one boy ever had. In other cases, it might be toys, games or a gift card to get something that would otherwise be impractical and impossible.
When touring their facility at the former Brennan Middle School on County Street in Attleboro last year, I was amazed at the levels of both organization and dedication. They handle the donated merchandise and goods better than most major department stores, and their efficiency and attention to detail is an amazing testament to the ideal of volunteerism.
The list of children and their Christmas requests was published on these pages Saturday, and you can select more than one. You can go to their website for more information —www.councilforchildren.org/cifk/. Or you can call their Donor Line at 508-226-0911 to select a child you can give a very special Christmas.
The people who volunteer for this amazing group will tell you they benefit more from these good works than do the children who get the gifts. But they can’t do it alone — they need your help.
So this holiday season, give generously — and if you can include “Christmas Is For Kids” as part of that, there are many who will appreciate it.