The members of the Santa Council of Louisa County had a great reason to celebrate as they rang out 2012 – the organization met its fundraising goal for the first time in nearly a decade.
“We are excited to have exceeded our goal this year,” said Barbara Wilson, Santa Council president. “It means so much to us to have the community behind us in this manner, particularly since we have not reached our target for several years.”
The organization has come close to its fundraising target in previous years and has been able to collect sufficient funds to continue the program, but as the need and expenses have arisen the group has been forced to raise the goal every couple of years or so, even when they didn’t reach the previous year’s target.
In mid-December, the organization distributed food, toys and clothing to approximately 550 families with another 100 or so families adopted by community groups, churches, individuals and businesses. Each family received food for a holiday meal, including a turkey and all the fixings, as well as nonperishable items such as canned fruits and vegetables, pasta and spaghetti sauce. Children received a toy and outfit of clothing as well as new, age appropriate books for Christmas.
The process wouldn’t work without community support in many ways besides financial support. Mineral Baptist Church and First Baptist Church both opened their facilities for various aspects of the program and the Louisa County Department of Parks and Recreation and Main Street Supply provided manpower and equipment to the effort. Louisa County Public Schools students also lent a hand, wrapping books and DVDs as well as helping with the food packing and delivery process.
“We had a wonderful group of high school students help us for a couple of days at the end,” said Lloyd Runnett, food chairman. “Jon Meeks’ advanced physical education classes learned about ‘paying it forward’ as they assembled the boxes and then packed them with food. They also worked to help deliver to the senior citizens at Epworth Manor.”
The students worked during the Standards of Learning testing periods, a time frame when they didn’t have classes.
To read the entire story, see the Jan. 3 edition of The Central Virginian.