You don’t have to look far this holiday season to see you have a lot to give thanks for. We can admit that sometimes it’s easier to notice what you don’t have rather than what you do. Which is why we are challenging ourselves – and all of you, dear readers – to take time from the busyness, the buying, and the boxes to consider what you can do to give time or money to make our community better. A city, like a family, is better together than apart. And sometimes it takes a little help from your family members to make the whole unit stronger.
That’s what we learned when we spoke with Bobby Jones of the Kiwanis Club of High Point. As we talked to him, we were able to hear a little more about the impact that serving our community can have. As Co-Chairman of the Christmas Cheer Committee, Bobby is responsible for the Christmas Cheer Fund, a 25-year-old program designed to make sure that all children are given gifts at Christmas. This year, the Kiwanis Club is partnering with several organizations in High Point: the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club, the YWCA and the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. The goal? To raise $40,000 that all goes back to giving gifts to children who may otherwise wake up Christmas morning without anything to unwrap.
This year, Bobby and his team at the Christmas Cheer Committee decided to take a new approach. Traditionally, the group meets mid-summer to make a list of all the toys and games they would purchase for the children and then give parents and guardians the opportunity to come pick up those toys.
“In the past it’s been a group of committee members making that decision,” he explains. But this year, the Christmas Cheer Committee is partnering with Target on Mall Loop Road. Each child will be matched with a volunteer who will devote intentional and individual time helping each child pick out the toys they most want.
“We’re trying to make this a more memorable experience for the kids,” Bobby says. “Instead of them having to pick up a bag of toys they didn’t get to choose, we really want them to have the experience of getting to choose the gifts they want.”
The Christmas Cheer Committee will serve around 150 kids this year, and 50 members of the Kiwanis Club will be volunteering. In years past, the Kiwanis Club has relied on donations from readers of the High Point Enterprise, as the paper publishes a list of donors each week for thanks and recognition. This year, Bobby and his team are aiming for an even more ambitious goal, in order to increase the gifts they can purchase.
“Some of these kids may not have presents under the tree or don’t have the option of getting what they want,” Bobby says. “We feel like helping them to do this can really make a tremendous impact on them enjoying the holiday season.”
If you are interested in giving to the Christmas Cheer Fund, you can make checks payable to the Christmas Cheer Fund and mail them to Christmas Cheer Fund, PO Box 5467, High Point, NC 27262 or donate online at https://kiwanishighpoint.org. And watch the High Point Enterprise, both in print and online, to see the Cheer Fund dollars add up.
But this is just one way you can support our community this holiday season. Some other organizations you can donate to include:
The Heroes Center An organization founded to serve veterans in a variety of capacities, including providing sustainable housing as they complete degrees.
Open Door Ministries An organization dedicated to combating homelessness with long term solutions.
World Relief Triad An organization that provides services and resources as refugees transition to their life in the Triad.
Cover the City Project A local organization started to provide warmth and resources to those without shelter all winter long.
Church Clothing Closets and Food Pantries Many local churches collect supplies all year-round. Ask your local church about what participating drives they have this time of year.
Extraordinary Educators’ Amazon Wishlists If you’re in the mood to give, why not give to one of our extraordinary educators to make their classrooms and teaching stronger? You can find their wishlists in any of our Extraordinary Educators articles.
At High Point Discovered, we believe that loving your community is something everyone can all do. Your generosity makes these and other initiatives happen. But, true community and generosity is considering those on the receiving end of your donation. That can look like giving your time this Christmas to serve at one of these organizations. Or it can be taking a meal to a next door neighbor. Stop today, look around at how you can take a step this season to spread true holiday cheer – by giving the gift of yourself.
Discovering our High Points,
The HP Discovered Team
Feature Image | Maria West Photography