Christmas Bureau serves 762 needy people
The Jackson County Ministerial Alliance Christmas Bureau served 762 needy individuals this Christmas, and organizers are looking for a group or individuals to coordinate the event for next year.
The annual Christmas “store” was held Dec. 12 at Evangel United Methodist Church in Holton.
“We received 206 family applications that included 402 children,” said Kay Smith, event organizer. “We also served 70 senior and disabled applicants.”
As part of the special store, each family or individual received a bag of home essentials, food items and toys. Senior and disabled applicants also received a pharmacy gift card.
“As a whole, everything went very well,” Smith said. “We were a little low on volunteers due to sickness and other commitments.”
This was the first year that organizers sought donations of completed essential bags from the public, with items including laundry soap, shampoo, soap, toilet paper and other necessities.
“Our goal was 250 bags, and we received 300,” Smith said. “I think giving people specific items that were needed gave them more focus and direction. It went very smooth.”
More than 25 bicycles were also given away during the event, Smith said.
“We had one adult applicant who received a bike and his bike had just broke recently,” Smith said. “It was going to cost him $100 to repair it, and he didn’t have the money. It was really amazing to watch him receive a new bike. He was so grateful.”
Smith said that all the organizers are thankful for the businesses and groups that donated time, money and toys for the event.
“Everything came together wonderful,” she said.
This is the last year the Evangel Serving Team is coordinating the Christmas Bureau, and team members are actively seeking a person or team to take on the leadership role in 2015.
“We’re looking for someone else to spearhead it,” Smith said. “It’s a lot of work, but we still plan to be involved in other ways.”
The EUM Church will still be available to host the event each year.
“We start working on the store in January and begin writing grant applicants in February,” Smith said. “It’s a faith-based ministry so we’re hoping that someone feels led to take over next year’s event. We’ll help walk them through the process.”
For more information, contact Smith at 785-364-8162 or Sandy Allen at 785-851-0276.