With the Holiday season just behind us and Valentine’s Day just ahead, we want to promote Burlington’s fabulous local foundation that works all year long to collect donations for families and elderly community members in need of food, clothing and toys for Christmas. They have been active for over 80 years and are funded entirely by donations from the community. $0.95 of every dollar that comes in goes to food, new clothing and toys. When the organization began many decades ago, there were less than 100 families in need of assistance. In 2019 over 740 families, more than 1,740 children and over 200 elderly community members were helped. There is so much need in our community and what the folks at Christmas Cheer do to help is, quite frankly, amazing.
This past Christmas, Dudley Realty Group visited the downtown Burlington office of Christmas Cheer to choose a couple of elderly citizens to sponsor. When we walked in, there were about 40 frozen turkeys that had just been donated by a local company. The phone was ringing, boxes were being moved, clothes were being sorted and walk-ins like us were coming to look through the binders that contain information sheets on the children, families and single elderly people that need help. My team and I couldn’t help but be very impressed and humbled by how hard-working the staff and volunteers are at Christmas Cheer. We sat with the binder, reading the different accounts for each person in need. Breakdowns of income and expenses, who they may or may not have in their lives for family, friends and neighbors and what types of items they are in need of. We chose who we wanted to sponsor and talked with a staff member about how to best handle communication, shopping and delivery.
We were able to schedule a time to meet with each of our seniors at their homes to discuss their needs. Now, to keep a long story short, let me just tell you that there are people who need more than they ask for help with. When you visit with someone in their home and can really see and feel the life they live compared to your own, there is nothing more humbling. It was just before Thanksgiving when we met with one woman who had nothing to give her family for dinner. Being able to feed a family of 5 for Thanksgiving dinner, provide coats, shoes, blankets and gift cards for Christmas is truly a blessing.
The next fundraising event for Christmas Cheer is coming up soon!
This annual event is so important for the organization. They raise between $22,000 and $25,000 from the chocolate festival alone, then another approximately $25,000 from their May Raffle.