Christmas For Kids gets boost from Saginaw Chippewa tribe and bikers
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ARENAC COUNTY – The Arenac County Christmas For Kids program received a shot in the arm Wednesday, Nov. 30 with the official donation of $10,000 from the Saganing Chippewa Indian Tribe and a $5,000 donation from Bikers For Kids.
Christmas For Kids chairperson Deb Schoenborn was on hand to accept the checks, presented by Arenac County Clerk Rick Rockwell and Ardith Fales, chairperson of the Arenac County Human Services Board.
Christmas For Kids is an Arenac County program spun off of the national Toys For Tots toy drive. The program’s goal is to provide local, underprivileged children with toys for Christmas.
Fales said the cancellation of a charity golf outing earlier this year caused the program to miss out on about $5,000 the outing would have generated.
The Saginaw Chippewa tribe gives out grants twice a year, in March and October, and Fales felt it would be worth a shot to apply for the program.
“I wrote a grant to the (Saginaw Chippewa) tribe for Christmas For Kids for $10,000,” said Fales. “We were awarded the full amount.”
Saginaw Chippewa spokesperson Frank Cloutier said a similar program on reservation land, called the Angel Tree, was the catalyst for approving the Christmas For Kids grant.
“(Christmas For Kids) mimics what is done here,” Cloutier said. “We see the value from what we do in our own community.”
He said the funds were primarily for the administrative side of the program, to help collect, sort and deliver toys for Arenac County children.
An additional $2,000 was donated anonymously to the charity.
Including existing funds, Christmas For Kids now has over $22,000 to help run the program this year, according to Fales.