Christmas for Kids--and you can help


By Jim Poole

Every child should have a Christmas––that’s the goal of Schoharie County Christmas for Kids.
And you can help reach that goal.
Christmas for Kids collects money and toys and directs them to needy families in time for the holidays.
Now in its sixth year, the effort strives to meet needs that continue to grow.
“Actually, the need is quite dire, and the numbers keep getting bigger each year,” said Pat Costello, regional coordinator of The Joshua Project, which is leading Christmas for Kids this season.
“This actually makes Christmas for many families.”
Last year, Christmas for Kids distributed toys, clothing and gift certificates to 870 kids, reaching more than 270 families.
Christmas for Kids was formerly called Schoharie County Christmas Collaboration. The name has changed but the collaboration remains among the agencies. Besides The Joshua Project, others are Catholic Charities, Head Start, Community Maternity Services, Schoharie County Community Action Program, Schoharie County Chamber of Commerce, along with schools, churches and individuals.
“In past years, by now we’ve had fairly large donations of toys,” Mr. Costello said. “But that hasn’t happened this year, so we’ll have to do a large amount of shopping.”
Georgia VanDyke, the Chamber’s executive director emeritus, agreed with Mr. Costello that the need may be greater this year.
She’s in a position to know; Ms. VanDyke helped start the toy drive the holiday season after Hurricane Irene in 2011.
Ms. Van Dyke also lent a hand with The Joshua Project’s donation of Thanksgiving dinners and related what another volunteer observed while delivering food last week.
“He said most people don’t realize the level of poverty we have here,” she said. “Some people don’t even have running water. It’s so sad.
“Every year the numbers go up. The economy’s just not improving.”
Christmas for Kids asks families to apply for toys at Catholic Charities in Cobleskill. Although the need could be greater this year, Toni Joslin of Catholic Charities hasn’t seen it yet.
“So far, we only have 56 applications,” Ms. Joslin said. “But that doesn’t mean we won’t get flooded at the end. There’s always a great need.”
Families must apply for Christmas for Kids by December 6, next Wednesday.
Individuals and businesses can donate Christmas for Kids by making a check out to ‘SCC for Kids’ and mailing it to PO Box 413, Middleburgh, or mailing it to the Schoharie County Child Development Council, 114 Lark Street, Cobleskill.
They can also drop off toys at the Child Development Council on Lark Street, Cobleskill. It’s the former Aker School.