Thursday, September 30, 2010

Spotlight: The Johnson County Christmas Bureau

I have recently been appointed to the board for my company's charitable foundation. I will not name it as I wish to always keep my online persona and my personal/work life separate, but I don't see any problem with passing along information on these organizations as I receive it, considering they always need all the help they can get, so you can expect more of these in the future. I realize that most of my online friends and followers are not local, but I urge you to take a look at these organizations anyway, and then see if perhaps your own area has something similar. Sometimes it takes very little to make a real difference in someone's life.

Today we were visited by the Johnson County Christmas Bureau. They are an organization that tries to help families in need have the holiday that so many of us take for granted.

From their facebook info page:

"The Johnson County Christmas Bureau is a 501(C)(3) non-profit, non-denominational agency created to provide the county’s low-income families with groceries, clothes, toys, hats, gloves, socks, adult and teen gifts, books and personal care items for the holidays. The Bureau began as an adopt-a-family project in 1960 by a group of women from the Shawnee Mission Chapter of AAUW; the Holiday Shop format was introduced in 1977.

Although Johnson County has a reputation for affluence, the rising level of poverty in the county is swelling the number of families seeking holiday assistance from the Bureau.

The Holiday Shop, held over a nine day period in early December, annually serves more than 2,800 families, (more than 10,000 individuals), who otherwise would go without during the holiday season. Many are working families trying to make ends meet; more than 70 percent are women and children. Nursing home residents also are served by our program.

Qualifying clients are referred by SRS, Catholic Community Services, schools, and other agencies. Upon completion of an application, clients are given an appointment to shop. With the help of volunteers, clients select a prescribed number of food and gift items pegged to the size of their family. Clients pay a small dignity fee.

All items provided to our clients are new, with the exception of gently used coats and books.

Our volunteers work year-round purchasing items at a discount and seeking new donated items to prepare for each year’s Holiday Shop. Over a two week period from set-up to take-down, more than 3,000 volunteers help at the Holiday Shop, held in donated space."

Thank you for taking the time to read this post.

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