The American Motor Thunder Club kicked off the start of the annual Champaign County Community Christmas program on Sunday, Oct. 4, with its Toy Run, collecting toys and donations. The toy run began at the parking lot of Grimes Field and ended at the Champaign County Fairgrounds. Club members met with Pastor Dan Leiker to donate over $1,400 and toys.
Concerned groups, businesses, churches and citizens have participated in Champaign County Community Christmas over 20 years. CCCC is a non-profit, county-wide initiative to help families with children and senior citizens during Christmastime.
Over 20 years ago, concerned citizens of Champaign County recognized there were families in need and set out to help by assisting them with food and toys during the Christmas season. Champaign County Community Christmas was born.
In its infancy, a canned food drive and donated toys were sorted and distributed through the help of an army of volunteers.
With the technology advances of store gift cards, committee members are able to give recipients the option to purchase what their children would need or want for Christmas, and to purchase food items for their families. Likewise, senior citizens are able to purchase needed items, whether it’s food or other necessities.
Every dollar donated to this program is tax deductible and is used to help those in need. No one gets a paycheck from this program and never has.
Volunteers, donations welcome
For three days during the week of Oct. 26, families and senior citizens apply for assistance from this program. Last year this program assisted 694 individuals.
Without generous support and sponsors from the community this project is not possible. Tax-deductible donations can be made payable to Champaign County Community Christmas, P.O. Box 294, Urbana, OH 43078.
This outreach is not possible without the time and commitment of volunteers. The Champaign County Community Christmas Committee and Organizing Team consists of representatives from the Champaign County Ministerial Association, area churches, Job & Family Services, The Caring Kitchen, The Senior Center, the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office, the Champaign Cruisers and residents of Champaign County.
Those wishing to assist can contact the Committee & Organizing Team by calling 937-612-1082. Tasks include coordinating toy donations application sign ups and helping with distribution to recipients.
Applying for assistance
Families with children and senior citizens who believe their financial need may qualify them for Champaign County Community Christmas need to complete an application form at the county Community Center, 1512 S. U.S. Route 68, Urbana, during the three days of CCCC application sign-ups: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Oct. 26-27; and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28.
To be eligible, family applicants must live in Champaign County, must have custodial rights of children on the application (all children up to 17 years old and only 18-year-olds who are still in high school). To apply, family applicants must bring all household pay stubs for the most recent four weeks and all income records for everyone in the household (including child support information and Social Security payments), original Social Security cards for everyone in the household as well as the photo ID for the Head of Household.
To be eligible, senior applicants must live in Champaign County and must be 60 or older on the date of application. Seniors with custody of children will complete a family application and must meet its eligibility requirements. To apply, senior citizens must bring with them their Photo ID, original Social Security cards and proof of income (including Social Security, retirement, pension, etc.).
This program is privately funded by concerned citizens, businesses, groups and churches committed to assist those in need at Christmastime. There is no guarantee that eligible applicants will receive help through CCCC, as the amount of funds available is unknown until right up to CCCC distribution.
The 2015 Distribution Day is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Community Center.
Submitted by Champaign County Community Christmas Committee.