Help make agencies’ wish lists come true

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 31, 2003

It just doesn’t seem right to be asking people for money at a time like this in our economy,&uot; a volunteer privately told one of our reporters recently.

But, as we all know, this is a time when our community needs more help than ever.

With plant closings over the past months and years, some of our neighbors may be finding Christmas a little more difficult &045;&045; and many charities are finding their donations dwindling.

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But many of us, despite the harder times, can afford to give our time, talent or treasure to one of these organizations.

If all of us are able to give something, imagine what we could do together?

Did you know, for example, that a meal at the Stewpot costs the organization just more than 30 cents or so &045;&045; and that 140 meals are delivered every day, with another 40 to 50 served in-house?

And you don’t have to give money &045;&045; many of our agencies could just use some of our time, whether it is to read to the children at the Sunshine Shelter or to dish up food for folks at the Stewpot.

Beginning today and leading up until Christmas, The Democrat will be profiling Miss-Lou charities and agencies and their &uot;wish lists&uot; for the holiday season. We hope our &uot;Season of Wishes&uot; campaign becomes an annual effort to recognize those groups that need special holiday help.

Some of these organizations sponsor holiday events that will make Christmas brighter for children throughout our area.

And for many of these organizations, the donations &045;&045; in money, goods and time &045;&045; will last them far beyond the Christmas season.

We begin our series today with the Children’s Christmas Tree Fund, a century-old event that is dear to the heart of our newspaper.

The fund’s founder, James W. Lambert, was the publisher and proprietor of The Democrat, and although he died when the event was just six years old it has endured year after year thanks to the support of an extended family of volunteers, many of whom are related to the Lamberts.

The editorial published in The Democrat after Mr. Lambert’s death explained why he had founded the Christmas Tree fund &045;&045; then called the Poor Children’s Christmas Tree:

&uot;Though powerful of physique, brave and courageous, he was gentle as a child, and his love for children was proverbial. He loved them as God’s gift to man, sent to brighten the lives of His children and to make the universe cheerful and brighter by their presence. Never was this more forcibly illustrated that when he discussed the Poor Children’s Christmas Tree …&uot;

The wish list of the Children’s Christmas Tree Fund is simple &045;&045; monetary donations are needed by the committee that will shop for all of the toys and candy.

Those donations can be sent to Brown Barnett Dixon or here to The Democrat.

Our wish list at The Democrat is also simple this year: We wish a merry Christmas for all of our residents.

We hope all of us can take part in making that wish come true.

Kerry Whipple

is editor of The Democrat. She can be reached at 445-3541 or by e-mail at