Christmas Happiness to serve more than 1,000 children this year
SALISBURY — Local residents have been contributing to the Christmas Happiness Fund for nearly a month, and because of those donations the Salvation Army of Rowan County has been able to serve more than 1,000 children and 281 Rowan County families.
The Christmas Happiness Fund has been around since 1952. It was started after Salisbury Post editor Spencer Murphy asked the Rowan County community to dig into its pockets to see that local children who would not have received much for Christmas could get some gifts.
The Salisbury Post collects the donations and turns them over to the Salvation Army. The local organization distributes gift cards that are used at a local businesses to eligible families. Parents are able to buy gifts for their children.
Although the agency will serve more than 1,000 children, the reserve fund has been depleted, which means if there are any last-minute families who need help there are no funds available, said Salvation Army Co-Capt. NaKisha Carr.
“We’ve used the rollover from last year and what has been donated,” Carr said.
Historically, some families who were not able to sign up will request help or first responders who know of a family that lost items in a fire or other dire circumstances will refer the family to the Salvation Army for help.
Carr said at this point, there’s no reserve money to pull from.
“If they were meaning to give, now is the time to send it. Now is not too late,” she said of community contributors.
Technically, today is the last day for contributions. Any donation given afterward will help with last-minute additions and begin the fund for the next year.
Each family is given a $35 gift card for each eligible child that can be used for purchases at Kmart. All gift cards will be distributed today along with aid for families that signed up for the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree project. There are 415 families that will be helped through the Angel Tree gift program.
The two programs combined will help 1,596 children.
This time last year, the community had contributed $51,538.57, which is $9,000 more than what has been given as of Tuesday this year.
Contributions to Christmas Happiness may be delivered to the Salisbury Post, 131 W. Innes St., between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays or mailed to Salisbury Post Christmas Happiness Fund, P.O. Box 4639, Salisbury, NC 28145-4639. Make checks payable to Christmas Happiness Fund and indicate how you want your donation listed.
Today’s contributions are: