Christmas for All needs sponsors, $$$ and toys


Sponsors, cash and toys are still needed to make this years Wilson County Christmas for All effort a success, and anything you can do will be most appreciated by volunteers with the organization.

Yes, yes and yes, was the response from Alan Ricketts, president of Christmas for All, regarding whether all three were needed.

We are lower this year on dollars than in recent years, and if last year is an indicator, well be down on sponsors this year as well, he said. At this point, the money is what we need more than anything else. There is, of course, the always highly valued sponsor. If we have a sponsor, we eliminate the need for the cash and the toys and thats a good thing. We estimate about $50 per child when planning, so you can sponsor a child for $50. Now, our buyers can stretch that $50 as far as $100-$150 through contacts and little known discounts.

As of Tuesday, Nov. 29, Christmas for All had received 2,112 applications for childrens needs and 212 food basket applications for the elderly who are in need this year.

Ricketts noted that the annual volunteer appreciation dinner and open house was held Monday night where the duties of the volunteers are explained. They will be on hand as families come by the new location for Christmas for All this year at Westland United Methodist Church at 110 Dawson Lane, Lebanon (behind the former KFC on West Main Street).

The warehouse at the church is now open for business and will be through noon, Saturday, Dec. 17.

I cannot stress enough how important it is for the applicants to arrive at their scheduled time to received their gifts as we will be closing at noon on the 17th and will be gone from the site that afternoon, Ricketts said. In the past, weve remained availableafter we closed, but not any more as weve committed to being out whenwe close.

Also on Monday, the Lebanon Fire Department held its annual toy drive for Wilson County Christmas for All at Walmart with a team of firefighters shopping all through the toy aisles to select gifts for around 400 local children.

Lebanon Fire Chief Chris Dowell said donations were down this year, and two roadblocks being rained out definitely contributed to the shortage of donations. With fewer funds, he said the department could only take 400 kids instead of the usual 500 or more.

The money was down this year, but we are planning to hold two golf tournaments next spring and fall, he said.

This year, the department held a fund-raising golf tournament that Lt. Ben Fountain said helped raise $13,000 for the toy drive. The local 4144 Chapter of the International Firefighters Association, Advanced Signs, Old Hickory Credit Union and A PLUS Print and Design were lead sponsors of the tournament.

Today is the fruition of all those efforts, Fountain said of the tournament and the help from local sponsors.

Christmas for All works in conjunction with Big Brothers of Mt. Juliet and the Angel Tree program in Watertown to see that all the children in Wilson County are not forgotten at Christmas.

If you can help, or if you need more information, call Christmas for All at 547-1106.

By JENNIFER HORTON and PATRICK HALL
The Wilson Post

Editor Jennifer Horton may be contacted at news@wilsonpost.com.

Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at phall@wilsonpost.com.