Another $275 in donations edged the Community Christmas Tree campaign closer to its $30,000 goal Friday, but another $14,372 is needed to provide Christmas presents to hundreds of needy children.
An additional 138 children were signed up Friday for the Community Christmas Tree campaign sponsored by the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, said volunteer Michele Colley. A total of 566 children have been signed up.
The annual program, also known as the Little Jimmie campaign, will be signing up children from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at the city auditorium on Stadium Drive in Bluefield. The campaign is for children newborn to age 12. Parents or legal guardians are required to bring the child’s health insurance, WIC card, or the child’s birth certificate.
Parents and guardians who brought their children to Friday’s sign-ups were not sure what their families would do for Christmas if the Little Jimmie campaign was not available. The campaign provides gift bags with toys, treats, a book, toboggan, a pair of gloves and other items for children in need.
One Princeton woman who declined to state her name had just signed up two children.
“Honestly, I don’t have a clue,” she said when asked if she had other options for giving her children Christmas presents.
“They wouldn’t be getting much for Christmas,” another Princeton woman added as she led a little girl to the door.
People were waiting at the auditorium’s door when 3 p.m. arrived, and the number of children waiting to be signed up had decreased. Volunteer Rebecca Perry rose from her chair just after 5 p.m.
“I’m just beginning to get up and breath,” Perry said. “This is the first time I took a break.”
Volunteers Irene Farmer, Carol Bailey and Deloris French counted cards. Each one of the cards represented a child. Two other volunteers, Zoe Colley and Autumn Meadows, came to the auditorium after school to help sign up children. Zoe Colley is the granddaughter of the late Executive Editor Tom Colley of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph.
Many of the adults thanked the volunteers soon after signing up children for the Dec. 21 Christmas party at the city auditorium.
Ron Perry, brother-in-law of Rebecca Perry, is helping with the Little Jimmie campaign for the first time this year. Many of the adults who brought children to Friday’s session thanked him for his help.
“I like it,” he said. “The people who come in, they’re just so friendly. And it makes you feel good. You’re doing something for them and they’re happy about it. They are very grateful. I’ve met a lot of grateful people while working out here.”
Those who would like to contribute to the Community Christmas Tree program can mail donations to: Bluefield Daily Telegraph, c/o Community Christmas Tree, P.O. Box 1599, Bluefield, WV, 24701; or drop them off at the Daily Telegraph office. Checks should be made payable to the Community Christmas Tree Fund.
Beginning balance ..............................$15,353.00
Anonymous ............ $100.00
In honor of my grandchildren, by Harry L Burton III.................................$50.00
In memory of James William Francis.......................$100.00
Baha’is of Princeton..$25.00