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“Always Christmas at Christian Help”

20 May

Our long-time friend and volunteer Gail Ruble was here working this week  —  believe it or not, she’s hard at work preparing donated toys for next December’s  Christmas distribution!  That major annual program demands many hours of work throughout the year to make sure everything is ready come December. 

As staff member Delphia commented, “It’s always Christmas at Christian Help.”

Thank you, Gail, and all our beloved volunteers, as well as all our friends whose donations and gifts keep it all happening.

“And the winner is…” — Great Fundraising Challenge results!

19 May

It was close, but:  Christian Help is the winner of the Great Fundraising Challenge!  Thanks in large part to many long-time supporters who suggested to friends and family that they get to know what we do and offer a gift of support, we received more donations from first-time donors than our “competitor” in this challenge (and sister agency), ABLE Families

That means we’re the recipient of a gift of $4,000 from one generous donor,  and another gift of $4,000 from another generous donor.  Our grateful thanks to both supporters! 

It also means the ABLE Families staff will be working at our place for a day.  We’ll enjoy having them around!

Thanks also to the new donors who made our ‘win’ possible, as well as the long-time supporters who pointed us out to them!

Alert and Update: the Great Friendraising Challenge

12 May

Remember the Great Fundraising Challenge?  There’s $8,000 waiting to go to either Christian Help or our sister agency ABLE Families, depending on which agency can garner more new donors by May 15

Where do things stand with 3 days to go?  Christian Help is ahead — by one!  We have received donations from 18 new donors since the Challenge began; ABLE Families has received 17.  And with that news on the ABLE Families blog today, I suspect ABLE Families supporters will mobilize a bit.

Care to help us make sure we get that $8,000, to help the people we serve?  If you’ve never donated to Christian Help, now would be a great time to do it!  If you have, it would be a great time to get a friend or family member to do it.

Since we’re coming down to the wire, I’d encourage you or them to make the donation online, which can be done simply and securely here

Thanks for considering it!

Word gets around

5 May

We recently received a very kind gift of homemade baby blankets, household items, and a generous check from Susan Kimmey of Manchester, New Hampshire.  Susan included a note explaining that she’s the aunt of one of the students from Marianapolis Preparatory School in Thompson, Connecticut.  (See our post about the visit we received in March from those students, and the great work they did, here.) 

Susan wrote:

My niece Kayla recently helped out Christian Help with the group from Marianapolis.  I was really touched by her enthusiasm and respect for you and your mission.  I hope you can put these baby blankets I made and some other things to good use.  I’m sure you can.

We sure can.  And we’re very happy when we see word getting out about the good work that goes on here.  Thank you, Kayla and Susan!

Easter baskets!

21 Apr

Every year, Christian Help distributes Easter baskets to the children of many of the families we serve. 

This week we distributed 125 baskets to local kids!  Here’s a photo of one of ’em, picking up his basket with his family at our place.  In the photo below, the table of baskets waiting for good homes.

We do this thanks to the kind donation of Frank I. of Sharon, Connecticut, a friend of Christian Help who faithfully sends a check each March marked “Easter baskets.”  We’re also thankful for the efforts of local Christian Help volunteers, who put a lot of  time into shopping for the items and putting them together into beautiful baskets.  And one more thank you two nearby businesses who provided the Easter basket items at a discount for us: Food City in South Williamson, KY, and Rite Aid in Warfield, KY.

Have a happy Easter!

Our crew

13 Apr

Because a large donation of new shirts recently came through our doors, Sr. Therese was able to arrange for the printing of names and Christian Help logos on several of them at very little expense. We got a shirt for each of the staff and volunteers in our clothing store. Not everyone was available for the impromtu photo, but here’s a bunch of our crew.

Going left to right, that’s Tiffany Newsome, Minne Fitchpatrick, me, Art Spurlock, Kathy Spurlock, Maggie Messer, Mina Hammond, and Sr. Therese Carew.

A note from recent visitors (and new friends)

11 Apr

I want to draw your attention to a comment left on this blog earlier today. We’ve had several posts here about the recent visit of students from St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Geneva, IL, as well as a few other student groups we’ve hosted lately. Each of the groups have done some wonderful works of service here in Mingo County.

Anyway, I posted here about the people from our region who we’ve invited to come give presentations to these students, to help them understand central Appalachia’s culture, history, and economy.

Mary Kay Rogers, one of the adult leaders of the St. Peter’s group, left a comment on that post earlier today that I’d hope that not only our presenters, but also our local folks can see. She wrote:

Many thanks to all of the guest speakers!! We had our post trip reunion yesterday, and the students ALL agreed that the educational component of our stay in Kermit was awesome. It gave all of us a better sense of Appalachia from several vantage points and hopefully helped us be better servants during our stay.

THANKS for the opportunity to visit and serve in Mingo County, WV. We have fallen in love with the people you serve and your beautiful landscape!

So it’s mutual, because we loved having them as well!