As you flip through the pages of this week’s issue, you’ll notice that at this time of year, there are a lot of organizations that could use your help.
Whether it’s through volunteering or donations, the need is great. And you can count the Friends of Forgotten Children as one of the many places that could use your services.
Later this week, they’ll hand out their Thanksgiving food baskets to needy families from all over the Concord area to ensure they have a nice meal for the holiday. Then, once that endeavor is through, they’ll make the quick switch to focusing on Christmas. And that’s where all of you come in.
Friends of Forgotten Children are in need of a lot of things this year – just like every other year since the Christmas project began in the home of the organization’s founder Eleanor Still, who held weekly yard sales to buy Christmas presents for needy children.
The Christmas Wish Stars are pretty simple. Parents, who meet the organization’s guidelines, sign up their children for the holiday gift program and provide a list of toys they might like along with clothes sizes. From there, volunteers create a star for each child containing four items – two toys and two pieces of clothing.
“It’s not very costly to do a star,” said Executive Director Cheryl Correllus. “And if someone wants two children, we try to have them in the same family.”
That’s where you come in. Once the stars are created, they would like all of you to help meet the needs of the families. Last year, the organization created about 350 stars and Correllus plans on having around the same number this year.
“We’re looking for people to take these stars,” Correllus said.
You can take one star, two stars or just get one thing that will help fill out a star. You can even chose a certain age, and boy or girl. Just don’t forget that Friends of Forgotten Children also serves teenagers through the age of 18, if they’re still in school.
“Anyone can take a star if they want to,” Correllus said.
But it isn’t just about the stars. While that is a big piece of what the nonprofit, all volunteer organization does, there are other ways to help.
With each star, the Friends of Forgotten Children like to pack a bag for the child that includes things like pajamas, coats, hats, mittens and board games – really whatever comes in by way of donation. So if you don’t want to do a whole star, but want to help out, you can still donate something that will go to what will be a very appreciative child.
“When the donations come in, we add to each star,” Correllus said.
And with all of this stuff coming in the door and needing to go out just as quickly, the group is also looking for volunteers to help with putting together the gift bags.
“We don’t have the staff to get through this big project,” Correllus said. “It’s quite busy.”
Stars are available now and can be picked up at the Friends of Forgotten Children (224 Bog Road), and the deadline for donations is Dec. 5.
But really, they’ll take donations right up until Christmas, along with trying to help a family in need any way they can.
”In an emergency, we’d never refuse anyone,” Correllus said.
Friends of Forgotten Children’s hours of operation are Wednesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.