2011-12-09 / News

Helping local children is her mission

A VOLUNTEER EFFORT by Bath and Brunswick Elks to ensure that local children in need receive Christmas gifts. Updates written by a Santa Claus Fund volunteer appear in each edition of The Times Record from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve. A VOLUNTEER EFFORT by Bath and Brunswick Elks to ensure that local children in need receive Christmas gifts. Updates written by a Santa Claus Fund volunteer appear in each edition of The Times Record from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve. Debbie Harmon believes in Santa Claus.

She might even be related. How can I think that?

Here’s why: Debbie starts the day after Christmas searching for bargains on toys, roller blades, tea sets, watches, clothing and so much more. Her purpose for working all year is to help those in need. She uses the Santa Claus Fund as a way to reach out to as many young children as possible.

I have met Mrs. Harmon only a few times, and we have shared some laughter and some tears. But it is always a good visit.

Her call to me this year was to say, “I have a few things to pick up. Can you send some volunteers?”

I always am ready to say “yes” when she calls. This year was no exception. Her generous donation restocked our depleted toy bins.

It took six or seven volunteers an hour to unpack the boxes she donated. We are always amazed at what Mrs. Harmon does each year!

She has a mission and stays focused all year. Thank you, Debbie Harmon, for all you do for our kids.

We are very busy right now, and the boxes in the holding area rise higher each day. We have but five days left to complete our mission. Everything will be ready for Santa to fill his sleigh a week from Monday.

If you haven’t got your requests in by next Friday, Dec. 16, it will be too late. Please send your requests now, as we don’t want to disappoint you. We can help, but you need to take the first step.

Send your request to The Santa Claus Fund Inc., P.O. Box 278, Brunswick, ME 04011. List your name, address and a phone number where you can be reached. Then list the name or names of your children, along with the date of birth and genders.

Some names can be tricky to determine wheter they are boys or girls. If we are not sure, your letter goes into the pending file until we can contact you.

Please remember that you must be a parent or legal guardian of the children for whom you seek aid.

Two days after mailing your letter, call us at 319-9317. We will acknowledge your eligibility, give you a box number, the time and place where you can go to pick up your box. So if you are reading this notice, swing into action and write that request.

Our kid count today jumped from 369 to 417. We are averaging 60 children each day since we started.

With today and all next week, I project that we’ll receive requests to help 600 children. That’s more than we budgeted. But we won’t disappoint the little ones. Much like Mrs. Harmon, we have our mission: “Put a Smile on a Child Christmas Morning.”

The men and women working at the North Pole Annex pack every box as if it were for their own. They search each toy bin for that special toy that will make our mission succeed.

If you would like to help our team, you could send a taxdeductible donation to The Santa Claus Fund Inc., P. O. Box 278, Brunswick, ME 04011

All the money goes for kids. We have no paid employees. We do what we do because we love to do it, and we recognize the great need there is in our communities. We will publish your donation daily right through New Year’s Eve 2011.

Our mailbox is open all year, and contributions received after Dec. 31, will be published the following season.

Speaking of donations, here are today’s: Wallace Gant Pinfold gave $50. Frank W. Sparks III donated $50. Elizabeth J. Paige sent $100.

Ruth Poynton gave $25 in memory of Kenneth Poynton. Frances Caswell sent $30. Richard Bray and Elizabeth Bradley donated $50.

XI Beta Chapter Beta Sigma Phi of Bath contributed $50. Ann and Berry Richardson sent $50 in memory of Margaret Colfer Adams.

An anonymous donor sent $50. McElman Inc./Bath Subaru gave $100. Jay and Ann Pickens and Lynne Allison gave $50 in memory of Carroll L. Smith.

Susan and G. Mark Wild sent $100. Larry and Gail Albee donated $50. Dorothy and Irving Stetson gave $100. The Jenny Station and Corey Bernier gave lots of toys and $25.

Peter LeBourdais, DMD, donated $100. ANEW Studio gave $5. Tess’ Market donated $25. Brunswick Foot and Ankle contributed $20.

Warming’s Market chipped in with $10. Brunswick Variety gave $25. Tim Hortons “Old Goats” — that’s not a misprint, folks — donated $120. Barn Door Café gave $25. The Picture Framer donated $30, and Michaud’s Market gave $25 in memory of Dave Michaud Jr.

That is wonderful, friends. Thank you each and every one of you.

We also are very fortunate to be awarded another grant from the Walmart Foundation. This is the third time we have received a grant from the Walmart Foundation.

This year’s grant is for $2,000. We are very appreciative of their support of The Santa Claus Fund Inc. We want to recognize Brunswick’s store manager Tag Martin for his help in making this happen. We want to thank the employees for always making us feel welcome when we visit the store.

This grant couldn’t have come at a better time. The need is certainly apparent this year with letters coming from families who previously supported the Santa Claus Fund, and this year find themselves needing some help. So again, I say thank you to the Walmart Foundation and their employees.

The total for today is $3,265. Thank you! That takes us to $12,447. That is wonderful. We are moving closer to our $30,000 goal. I really appreciate all the wonderful support you have given to the Santa Claus Fund.

I must not forget the toy donations. Shift donated a MakeDo dollhouse. Thank you. Jim and Ruth Wilson donated a new bicycle. That’s fantastic. We received a long distance donation from Gwen Alexander who lives in Florida and she sent 25 hand knit fun fur scarves in memory of Linda Snow, Bertha and Glen Howard. I actually opened that box Gwen, Nice job!

I mentioned earlier The Jenny Station sent a box of assorted toys to us, their customers brought in unwrapped toys for our kids. Thank you, Rachel.

As mentioned above, Debbie Harmon donated a huge treasure chest of toys. Thank you.

The Brunswick Elks collected toys this season and they sure delivered. Great job, ladies and gentlemen.

What I call the material donations are always the unexpected. We are not just talking toys, but the hundreds of knit items, the clothing items and stocking stuffers.

I’m glad you have the spirit of giving. It is all part of “we the people of the United States of America.” Thanks again.

I have some big news for Monday’s report. Be sure to check it out in The Times Record.

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