BUCKHANNON- The Buckhannon-Upshur Christmas Store has begun preparation for the 2018 holiday season. President Curtis “Junior” Howes went in front of Upshur County Commission last week to discuss the mission, objectives and services provided by the store.
This non-profit organization was organized in 1989, and since then has helped serve limited income families who wish to provide their children with gifts for Christmas. Howes said the Christmas Store is run by volunteers who work year round, and just last year they “served over 400 families and around 1,000 kids, in only four days.”
The organization is funded entirely on donations and fundraisers. This year they have had a few different fundraisers including a strawberry pancake breakfast, an annual dinner, and a yardsale. Other upcoming fundraisers will include a bingo which will be held on Oct. 20 at the Moose Lodge, and on Nov. 10 they will have their annual Turkey and Ham dinner at the Chapel Hill United Methodist Church, according to Howes.
Howes continued to say that in order to participate families must fill out an application, which is sent home from the schools, and meet the specific criteria. Once application is approved, families will be notified of a specific date and time to be at the store, in order to help make the process go smoother. The organization will also be posting flyers throughout the community to let the public know that applications will be available at the Christmas Store, and can be filled out prior to shopping.
Howes said the store provides brand new toys and coats to children, and they serve children all the way from newborn to age 18. New toys can be purchased by the parents for just $2, and the children can also receive books, puzzles, gloves, socks, hats, coats, stocking stuffers and food all for free.
“One thing we believe is that no child should ever go hungry” said Howes.
Prior to the store’s opening there will be boxes set up in the courthouse annex building to help collect nonperishable food, as well as new toys and coats. Anyone wishing to make a donation can also do so by calling Howes at 304-997-5350. This year’s Christmas Store will be held Dec. 4-7 at the Buckhannon Moose Lodge.