GARDNER – To those who have given a little or a lot to the Telegram & Gazette Santa Fund this year, know that you have made the Christmas dreams of about 5,000 local children in need come true.
T&G Santa’s 83-year tradition of turning monetary donations into toys and books for children in the care of supportive services continues today.
Following:Since 1938, T&G Santa donors have provided Christmas gifts to children in need
With the help of the United Way of Central Massachusetts, T&G Santa is sending these gifts to many Elves under the guise of child and human service providers.
One of those elves is Julie Meehan, executive director of the Gardner Community Action Committee at 294 Pleasant St.
The CAC meets the needs of approximately 250 households in financial difficulty in the community of Grand Gardner each month.
“It’s been over 15 years since T&G Santa made Christmas possible for children and families at CAC,” Meehan said. “Last year we provided toys to 400 children. This year, we requested a total of 600 gifts through the T&G Santa for 450 children.
Among the children who received these gifts this year were Tricia’s two daughters, aged 10 and 12. Tricia’s husband works full time while she homeschool their children.
The couple have turned to CAC Gardner for family support for the past four years and have received T&G Santa gifts for their daughters in three of those years.
“It makes the holidays a lot easier and is such a blessing for our family,” said Tricia, adding, “The kids love the amazing toys so much.”
Each year, parents of the CAC are invited to submit an online application with proof of address, birth certificates and income. From there, the staff at the CAC write a wish list for Santa Claus, who sends a truck full of time to waste.
“We get awesome toy crates and crates,” Meehan said.
The gifts are sorted by age and gender, and parents are coached to select two items for each child. The CAC also provides wrapping paper, stockings and Christmas stockings.
ACC volunteer Terri Hillman has been welcoming parents to the toy distribution line for about 10 years.
“I think it’s wonderful of the people who donate all of these toys,” she said. “Despite these difficult times, people were generous and they made a lot of families happy because they could not have afforded these toys.”
Hillman said it was very gratifying to help distribute the gifts this year.
“I leaned over and talked to quite a few people with tears in their eyes. So many people have been displaced. An elderly couple was coming to pick up their grandchildren and they looked so poor but so happy for the gifts, ”she said. “People have thanked us profusely for everything we do or have done. “
Gardner CAC was founded in 1970 as a small pantry. Today, its services include a pantry, soup kitchen, fuel assistance, medical transport and emergency assistance.
It is one of 11 family service organizations whose helping hands have helped T&G Santa Gifts find suitable homes.
The others are the Rainbow Child Development Center; the state ministry of mental health; the Hispanic American Center, Catholic Charities; Devereux therapeutic / intensive care; the Devereux school; Salvation Army branches in Worcester, Fitchburg and Milford; and the Winchendon Community Action Committee.
PRIOR TOTAL: $ 96,827.00
CONTRIBUTIONS IN HONOR OF:
Iron Workers Local 7 Worcester, $ 1,560.00
Osterman Management, LLC, $ 1,000.00
New England Ironworkers District Council LMCT, $ 500.00
7th grade students, Town of Sutton, $ 452.00
Worcester Arts Magnet School, $ 447.21
William Walsh, $ 110.00
Staff and students of the former Randall School in Auburn; Mothers of the Library, $ 100.00
Help from Santa, $ 100.00
Help from Santa, $ 100.00
“Up to 15”, $ 92.91
Help from Santa, $ 75.00
Shirley & Rich Bourke & Carol & Dickie Anderson – Wonderful Neighbors, $ 50.00
Help from Santa, $ 50.00
Robert and Lynn Foster, $ 50.00
Help from Santa, $ 25.00
CONTRIBUTIONS IN MEMORY OF:
Russ & Nancy Rebakas – Love Carol, Buzz and Cindy, $ 200.00
Sandy Splaine; Gareth and Julie Roberts, $ 150.00
800,000+ victims of the coronavirus; Janet L Croshaw, $ 150.00
mom, dad and aunt Grace Polito, Liseno; Françoise, $ 100.00
Marianne Roach; James Roach, $ 100.00
My Husband – Reggie Gauthier, Love Beverley, $ 100.00
Grandmother and Grandfather Valentino and Kevin Finney; Joan Newman, $ 100.00
Norma Kitka & Betty LeFort; The Ladies Benevolent Society of Dudley, $ 100.00
Grass and Agnès Oliva, $ 50.00
Harry – Stanley – Paul, $ 50.00
Alphonse & Femmy Matta – Love Diane, $ 50.00
Dad, mom and Barbara, $ 50.00
Fred and Lillian Aramony, $ 50.00
Merry Christmas Dad, $ 50.00
Jim and Lorraine Richard, $ 40.00
Frank and Louise McWey, $ 25.00
Meaghan Millette, $ 25.00
My grandparents: Nunziato & Angelina Cosenza; granddaughter René Bastardo, $ 25.00
Our parents; Nick and Nancy Ritacco, $ 20.00
Ray Colonero; Mayor Colonero – Female, $ 20.00
DAILY TOTAL: $ 6,167.12
GRAND TOTAL: $ 102,994.12