Center Provides Gifts for Kids
It will be a better and a warmer Christmas after all for needy children around Robbins.
For a while, it looked like a bleak and chilly holiday would be in store this year. Support was down for the annual Northern Moore Family Resource Center effort to provide warm clothes, shoes and coats to students in need who go to the five schools in the upper county section.
"Guidance counselors at each school determine which students need warm clothes," said center director Clare Ruggles. "They provide us with a list of pants, shirt and shoe sizes. In past years, Pinehurst Surgical Clinic has organized an effort for their employees to provide for some of our children, and Sandhills Duplicate Bridge Players Association has made generous financial contributions."
At first, it looked as if neither of those organizations would be able to help this year. Things didn't look very promising.
One board member arranged for her church, Carthage United Methodist Church, to shop for all the children who attend two of the five schools, but the center needed to shop for another 75 kids. The center had only about $1,500 in donations, including a $500 check from the United Methodist Women at Tabernacle United Methodist Church in Robbins. It wasn't half enough.
"We generally try to purchase shoes, a pair of jeans, a warm shirt and a coat for $40 a child," Ruggles said. "That means that we needed a total of $3,000 in contributions, nearly double what we received."
Ruggles appealed by e-mail for help, offering to give potential donors one child's information for those who wanted to do the shopping personally or do the shopping with donated funds. The response gladdened her heart, she said recently.
"The Northern Moore Family Resource Center is very grateful for the support it received from so many to help with our Christmas Assistance program that provides warm clothes, coats and shoes to students in need at the five schools in this end of the county," she said Monday. "I appealed for support, as two organizations that had helped in the past had indicated that they could not help this year.
"However, in the end, both organizations, Pinehurst Surgical Clinic and Sandhills Duplicate Bridge Players Association, did come through with donations. Their donations were not as large as in years past, so the support I received from my appeal was essential to meeting our goal of serving all children for whom the guidance counselors asked us to provide."
The center gave out all the presents before school let out early on Friday because of the weather. Mary Beth Ingram (the social worker for Robbins, Elise, and Westmoore) and Ruggles drove through rain and sleet that Friday morning to deliver presents to families who did not have transportation to pick presents up at the schools or the center.
Ruggles added, "I wish all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!"
Contact John Chappell at (910) 783-5841 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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