Christmas Needy Program A Great Way to Give This Holiday Season

SNOW HILL, MD – Ring in the season with the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) Christmas Needy Program and help make the holidays shine brighter for families in need.

Now through December 19, the WCSO is seeking volunteers to assist them at the Santa House in Snow Hill and donations to help provide food, clothing, toys and other special items this Christmas. Santa Clause will be at the Santa House on pickup day, December 20, 2011, when the food and gifts are distributed.

Staple foods to fill a small child’s hungry belly, mittens to buffer little fingers against the cold, and a much longed for toy are among the simplest treasures that can be given to brighten a child’s hopes this season.

“One little girl listed an electric toothbrush and blankets as the most desired items on her wish list,” said Dena Holloway, who manages the collection of food, clothing and toys for the Christmas Needy Program. “To a child in need, it’s the little things that really matter.”

Worcester County residents can aid the Santa House by providing monetary support to purchase teen clothing and shoes and children’s wish list items, volunteering to help at the Santa House or donating new toys, hats, gloves, clothing and food. Tyson Foods has donated 400 chickens to help fill food boxes. Dry goods needed for holiday food packages include stuffing, cake mixes, cookie helpers, Jell-O, Jiffy Muffin Mix, Macaroni and Cheese, pasta, Ramen Noodles, Rice-A-Roni and instant potatoes.

Much needed youth recreational items include bikes ranging from 26 inches down to youth tricycles. This year’s most requested toys and gifts include games, crafts, hair brushes, deodorant, music CDs (like Justin Bieber, NOW That’s What I Call Music, and other popular artists) and Xbox 360 games. Riding toys, baby items, winter coats, stuffed animals and coloring books with crayons are also needed, along with balls and other sports equipment. Other wish list items include drawing  pads, markers, colored pencils, youth and teen chapter books.

Holloway notes that community involvement makes this program a success year after year.

“The community has been fantastic in helping, and we are so thankful to them for what has been accomplished along our journey,” said Holloway.

With the help of area police and other government agencies, businesses, civic organizations and area residents, the Christmas Needy Program through the Santa House is working to reduce the number of families and children in crisis at Christmas. This season,the Santa House has received requests to assist approximately 500 families.Although the continued economic climate has led to an increase in those seeking assistance, the WCSO has never initiated a cut off of services to qualifying individuals due to limited resources. However, because the need is so great this year, WCSO are asking for additional community aid to help accommodate the requests.

Non perishable food, toys, clothing and other items for all ages from infants to senior citizens can be taken to one of the many convenient drop-off points available throughout the county, including each of the Friendly’s Restaurants on the Eastern Shore, Ocean Lanes and OC Nails in Ocean City, Ocean Pines Police Department and Bagel &…in Ocean Pines, Atlantic Physical Therapy, 5 & Below and Powerhouse Gym in West Ocean City, all Calvin B. Taylor Banks and Worcester County Libraries, Maryland State Police Barrack and Gull Creek in Berlin and the Health Department in Snow Hill.

For more information on the Christmas Needy program, making a donation, volunteering or adopting a family, contact Dena Holloway at 410-632-1111 (Sheriff’s Office) or 410-632-4924 (Santa’s House). All donations will directly benefit underprivileged families and children residing in Worcester County.

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