|37th annual Delphos Community Christmas Project underway|
|Wednesday, November 06, 2013 9:07 PM|
BY STEPHANIE GROVES
Each year, the Delphos Community Christmas Project assists local families and children living in the city school district with making their Christmas special.
Project Coordinator Edna Fischer said her passion for the project is partially due to her love of Christmas — she grew up experiencing a huge family Christmas celebration. In addition, as a school nurse, she saw some students coming back from Christmas break with nothing to share with classmates — no new clothes or toys.
“The holiday is a big deal for everybody,” she insisted. “I wanted to do whatever I could so they did not have to come back to school with nothing.”
She said this year, Delphos will see a greater need with the Reser’s Fine Foods and I & K closures.
“Be an angel and take a soldier off of the tree,” Fischer said with compassion.
Fischer said that she and Bev Cross-McNeal interview each family and find out the children’s specific needs; clothing size and toy and/or game preferences.
“Interviews began on Nov. 1,” she said. “We will help as many families as we can.”
In 2012, the community-driven project made the Christmas wishes of 145 families and 351 kids a reality. In addition, organizations, individuals and high school students donated funds and/or time to prepare and deliver 150 fruit plates to home bound seniors, 110 food boxes with $100 food gift cards and 153 pairs of shoes.
Donated used Christmas trees, which are restored and tested by Brad Hoenbrink, and new lights and ornaments to accompany the tree, are always needed to fulfill the list of holiday items families are looking for. Last year, 19 families had the opportunity to choose a Christmas tree with new lights and ornaments and take it home to display for the holiday.
“Kids get so excited when a Christmas tree goes up,” Fischer said.
Fischer said the man who refurbished and donated used bicycles for the project retired this past summer. She said she would like to find another individual who can and wants to fill that role. Businesses and individuals have already committed to donating eight new bicycles to the project.
Any remaining funds left after Christmas will be used for larger item purchases like beds, mattresses, box springs, frames and bedding; large appliances; baby cribs; bedroom furniture; and gift cards.
Fischer said there are new members involved in the project this year, including Anne Maas, Cindy Brandehoff and Kathy Ulm. Also included in the project are volunteer shoppers Deb Rostorfer, Dianna Hetrick, Janet Rode, Lisa Staup, Marcia Birkmeier, Rose Morris, Sis Ditto, Sue Vasquez, Tina Link and Vicki Siefker; and Treasurer Karen Edelbrock.
As in past years, organizations including the Delphos Chapter of the Salvation Army, the Optimists, Kiwanis, Phi Delta Sorority, St. Vincent dePaul; and many local businesses and individuals will embrace the community’s need and generously donate time and/or money to ensure holiday magic for every family and child.
For more information or to make a donation to the project, call Fischer at 419-692-8818.