Charity has deep roots for Natchez

Published 12:05 am Friday, December 5, 2014

The Natchez Children’s Christmas Tree Fund is an effort near and dear to the hearts of many Natchezians.

For many in Natchez, Christmas Eve is not complete until the annual Santa Claus parade makes its way through their neighborhoods, throwing candy and offering Christmas greetings for all.

Founded in 1900 by former publisher of The Natchez Democrat, James W. Lambert, Lambert’s great-great-granddaughter, Caroline Ferguson McDonough, is one of many who keep the effort going each year.

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McDonough’s job is to purchase the toys, which are distributed to approximately 350 Natchez area children between the ages of 1 and 10 each year. Between $25 and $35 are spent on each child.

Those gifts are purchased in early November. Donations are used to pay for those gifts.

Each year, the Santa Claus Committee selects one of its members as Santa, who helps distribute those gifts to the children, who are gathered for the event at Braden School Auditorium.

The Christmas Tree Fund needs your help this year to pay for presents for children, selected by Catholic Charities, who would otherwise not receive a Christmas gift.

Donations may be sent to Natchez Children’s Christmas Tree Fund, P.O. Box 1082, Natchez, MS 39121 or to The Natchez Democrat, P.O. Box 1447, Natchez, MS 39121.

Donations also may be dropped off at The Democrat’s office at 503 N. Canal St., Natchez.