While it is considered to be the most joyous time of the year, the holiday season can also be a challenging period for many families across our region.

That is why we are once again sponsoring our annual Community Christmas Tree campaign to help ensure a brighter Christmas for hundreds of area children who would otherwise go without at Christmas.

This is the 104th year for the Daily Telegraph’s Community Christmas Tree program, which is affectionately known as “Little Jimmie” due to an iconic illustration that accompanies the newspaper’s seasonal kick-off of the campaign.

We anticipate a great need for help this year. Inflation is cutting into pocketbooks with the cost of food, gasoline, home heating and just about everything else going up. Some families in our region are now having to choose between food, medicine and keeping their homes warm, with little extra income available to purchase toys for their children this Christmas.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the format for the 2021 edition of the Community Christmas Tree campaign will once again be a little different this year with an online registration and voucher system that will allow parents to shop for their own children’s gifts later next month.

However, there will be a traditional “Little Jimmie” campaign this year to help raise the necessary funding that will allow for hundreds of parents across the region to purchase toys for their children. As in past years, the Daily Telegraph will publish a daily list of donors to the Little Jimmie campaign in the newspaper’s print edition, E-edition and online each day at the newspaper’s website, www.bdtonline.com

The 2021 campaign begins today. Our goal is $40,000.

For this year’s event, parents will register their children online at bdtonline.com/littlejimmie starting today. The online registration portal is open from Sunday, November 21 through Wednesday, December 1.

A CHIP, WIC or children’s Medicaid card will be needed to verify eligibility for the program. Multiple children in a single household will need to be registered separately.

A Little Jimmie shopping event for parents and their children will be scheduled for later next month at Walmart in Bluefield, Va. The date and time of that shopping event will be announced soon.

Parents must bring a valid photo I.D and verification of registration (a printed copy or copy saved to their cellphone) to the shopping event, where they will receive a voucher to purchase their children’s toys.

While we realize that this is a change from past years, the revised format will still ensure a joyous Christmas this year for hundreds of children in the region who otherwise would go without.

Readers of the Daily Telegraph have consistently supported the Community Christmas Tree campaign, and once again your support will be needed to help make the 104th edition of Little Jimmie a success.

Those who would like to contribute to this year’s campaign can can send donations to: Community Christmas Tree, P.O. Box 1599, Bluefield, WV, 24701. Checks should be made payable to the Community Christmas Tree.

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