Local charities report season of generosity

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 28, 1999

The last Christmas of this millennium was one of giving, according to local charitable organizations.

&uot;People were so generous with time given in volunteering in the different aspects of the program, monies donated, ‘Angel Tree’ gifts, and great media coverage,&uot; said Lt. Bobby Westmoreland of the Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army reported that their Christmas Program assisted:

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1,319 individuals with food and toys and a blanket for Christmas,

1,497 elderly shut-ins or hospitalized individuals received Christmas gifts and visits,

102 individuals assisted with regular social services including rent, utilities, emergency housing, food, etc.

488 individuals assisted with warm clothing and blankets during the holiday season, and

$51,252.14 raised through the &uot;red kettles&uot; for the Christmas Cheer program.

The Stewpot on East Franklin Street had 12 volunteers serve up 157 outgoing plates of food to shut-ins and homeless and 38 walk-in meals over the Christmas holiday, said Johnnie Davis, supervisor and cook.

The Children’s Christmas Tree Fund was an enormous success, said organizer Katherine Killelea. &uot;People were so generous this year,&uot; she said. &uot;Not that they’re not generous every year, but everybody just rallies to the cause.&uot;

The Children’s Christmas Tree Fund provided children with Christmas gifts this year, she said.

&uot;Over 290 children were serviced, and then we had gifts left over and took them to the children’s home,&uot; Killelea said.

The fund provided children with an assortment of gifts — tea sets, dolls, tricycles and clothes donated each year by Kelly’s Kids.

&uot;Kelly’s Kids furnishes an outfit for each child,&uot; she said.

Killelea said she is very grateful to Catholic Charities for registering children for the Christmas Tree Fund.

&uot;Everybody is part of it and that’s what makes it wonderful.&uot;