Number of applicants for Christmas4Kids recipients growing
ARENAC COUNTY — Three weeks into the collection of names for this year’s Arenac County Christmas4Kids, chairperson Jeri Harris said the number of applicants has doubled from last year.
“We are in full Christmas mode right now,” she said. “Normally at this time we have about 200 to 250 (applicants). Right now I have around 550.”
Harris said Christmas4Kids operates in cooperation with the Arenac County Department of Human Services, who supplies the list off applicants.
Recipients of toys from Christmas4Kids are from families who receive assistance from DHS.
Harris said the poor economy in Arenac Country has caused the increase in the number of recipients.
“Moms and dads are worried about how they are going to give their children toys for Christmas,” she said. “Our goal is to make sure that no kid in Arenac County goes without a toy this year.”
Harris said there are around 40 Christmas4Kids drop boxes in different locations around Arenac County. Drop boxes can also be found Standish-Sterling Area Schools, AuGres-Sims Schools, and Arenac Eastern Schools.
She said she is still looking for 10 to 15 people who would be willing to volunteer their time to help purchase toys the day after Thanksgiving.
“We still need helpers to go to (the store) at 3 a.m. to catch some deals,” Harris said.
The reason Harris said she goes out the day after Thanksgiving is to catch sales that help her get at least one item that a child said they want.
“Those sales allow us to do that,” she said.
Harris said that Christmas4Kids has been operating and delivering toys to children of Arenac County for around 30 years.
“We are the best option for people who want their donation to get to the (children) of Arenac County,” she said. “People can look for our authorized locations to make their donations. Every donation we get will go to local children.”
Harris said only people who are registered with DHS are able to receive gifts.
“People have to have their forms into us by Nov. 23,” she said. “They can get them to us after that, but there is no grantee they will receive gifts. We will try to meet all demands.”
Harris added that the Arenac County Knights of Columbus, the AuGres Area Chamber of Commerce, the Standish Kiwanis, and Bikers4Kids are all great supporters of Christmas4Kids.
She said people who would like to make a monetary donation can be sent to Christmas4Kids, PO Box 602, Standish Mi, 48658.
For more information contact Harris at 989-701-0071.