I am sorry, but if you think about it Christmas really is just around the corner.  I have seen evidence of that in the stores already as small reminders are being put on display.  Each year it seems earlier and earlier that the lights, colorful balls, bells, stars and garland come out as a constant reminder each time we go to the store.  Whatever happened to taking our time and fully enjoying Halloween? What about Thanksgiving? It seems we are in a rush to get the Holidays out of the way and start a New Year.  I remember getting excited about Christmas thinking it would never get here and my grandma would say, “Just wait, as you get older it will come faster and faster. It will seem like you just had Christmas and it will be here again!” Well, what did she know she was old (probably mid 60’s at this time) I would think and it was just too long till Christmas, I couldn’t wait.  Guess what, time really does speed up as you get older.  As I slide down that hill of age I realize she really did know what she was talking about.

What is the reason for my rambling about Christmas you ask?  Well here at Outreach we realize that not every child has the expectation of a Christmas tree surrounded by gifts.  Our economy makes it very difficult for some parents to give what they would like to their children particularly at this time of year.

Each year at Outreach we offer parents or legal guardians the opportunity to come to Outreach and “shop” free of charge for children ages birth through sixth grade in the Blue Ridge School District.  We ask for donations to purchase gifts which we then display and let parents or legal guardians come and select two gifts per child.  While the parents or legal guardians are shopping volunteers keep the kids busy in another area with crafts. It is so rewarding as a volunteer to see the kid’s excitement over the crafts they make and many of them make something for a sibling or parent.

If you would like to volunteer to help at this year’s Christmas Shop give me a call at 928-9400.  I don’t have a date yet but by the time this newsletter goes out I will have a date set and can fill you in when you call. If you would like to donate, just mail a check to Outreach, P.O. Box 101, Farmer City, IL 61842 and write xmas shop in the memo line.  Or you can just drop off your donation anytime you are going by.  All personal donations are kept confidential unless you give us permission to add your name to the sponsor board that we display listing all donors for the various programs offered by Outreach.

It is so rewarding to see the happiness on these kids’ faces when they leave that day and you even feel a little of that childhood excitement you had as a child as you listen to them talk about what may be under the Christmas tree.  It is our goal to make Christmas a little brighter for those less fortunate.

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