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Mother grateful for special holiday program

 

Susan (not her real name) had already raised her children when a family situation arose that she couldn’t turn her back on. She stepped in and now has custody of four of her nieces and nephews.

Caring for four grade-school age children, along with an aging parent with serious medical needs, means Susan can’t get out into the workforce the way she would like.

Every dollar her husband earns goes for the basics for her new family. So with the holidays around the corner Susan worries about making sure the little ones in her care will have something around the tree and warm clothes to wear during the coming cold months.

“I don’t worry about me getting Christmas as long as the ones around me has Christmas,” she said.

And usually Susan is able to make sure those she loves have a good Christmas. But this year it’s different and when the Secret Santa program was offered to her, she gratefully signed up.

“I don’t try to get help because I feel like somebody needs it more than I do,” she said. “I am doing all I can to keep them out of the welfare system.”

This is the third year that the Young Professionals, an organization of the Chamber of Commerce, is organizing the Secret Santa program with the goal of providing good warm winter clothing for children ages 12 and under and some toys or other presents to make Christmas bright.

“Any people who try to help others who need help are Santa Claus,” Susan said. “I told my girls there is a Santa Claus riding around in a sleigh. And a pure stranger giving gifts out of kindness, that is Santa Claus too.”

The Young Professionals are asking the community to help them play Santa Claus for 600 children in the county who are in need. Anyone wanting to sponsor a child or more than one child and go out shopping for them, can contact Casey Baker, Secret Santa coordinator, at lcypgroup@gmail.com.

If anyone wishes to make a contribution directly to the Secret Santa, that can be done by writing a check to LEDC Secret Santa and send it to the Chamber of Commerce, 216 Collins Ave., South Point, OH 45680.

Also the Secret Santa organizers have applied for a $5,000 grant from Pepsi. They are asking everyone to vote at http://www.refresheverything.com/lcypsecretsanta through the month of November.

If Secret Santa gets enough votes to put it in the top 20 finalists, the program will get the grant. Right now it is ranked at 135.