THE ISSUE: Red Stocking delivery Saturday, but donations still needed
OUR VIEW: Just a few dollars can go a long way
The forecast calls for mild temperatures and sunny skies Saturday morning – when dozens of volunteers will be delivering gifts and food to hundreds of Times-area children as part of the longtime Red Stocking program.
Preparations begin months in advance with the much appreciated help from members of the Zonta Club in Ottawa and Kiwanis Club in Streator. Volunteers with those groups shop, wrap and help coordinate the delivery.
Red Stocking is made possible with such dedicated volunteers, and just as importantly, donations that pay for the gifts that many children otherwise wouldn't receive.
The fundraising goal is $62,000 — same as last year. Every cent is used toward the purchase of items that directly benefit children in need. Funds are not used for administrative or staffing expenses. Donations are not solicited door-to-door but are delivered or mailed to The Times' offices in Ottawa or Streator.
As the program gears up for this weekend's delivery, we are asking two things: First, please donate to next year's program if you can. At this time of year, there are plenty of programs seeking much-needed donations. You'll see bell ringers for the Salvation Army, or giving trees set up in stores.
All we ask is that you consider donating to Red Stocking, or just take some time to learn about the program. To thank you for donating, The Times publishes a list of donors' names as space allows. You can also remain anonymous.
The program survives on donations from the communities served. Red Stocking donations are used for gifts of toys, games, books and food items that go directly to children up to age 12 in needy families in The Times' circulation area. (The Times has stopped taking names of children for this year's delivery).
Secondly, we hope you'll consider volunteering to deliver gifts Saturday.
If you'd like to deliver in the Ottawa area, please arrive at The Times office at 110 W. Jefferson St. at 8 a.m. For Streator deliveries, please arrive at the Streator office at 115 Oak St. at 8:30 a.m.
Donations for next year's program can be sent or dropped off at either location, or mailed using the form printed regularly in The Times.
Just a few dollars can go a long way. And you'll know you're directly helping brighten at least one youngster's Christmas morning.