Transcript kicks off its 30th Neighbor Helping Neighbor Christmas appeal for CCS

Nov 27, 2019 by

Published November 27, 2019

By MAUREEN DOHERTY

NORTH READING — As unbelievable as it seems, the Transcript is kicking off its 30th annual Neighbor Helping Neighbor Fund (NHNF) with this week’s edition to support the year-round good works of Christian Community Service (CCS).

Thanks to the immense generosity of the readers of this newspaper each holiday season over the past three decades, your donations have been used to directly benefit North Reading residents who have fallen on hard times. These donations have enabled the NHNF to become the largest single source of income upon which CCS relies to carry out its mission of helping those in need.

The best part of this story is not a single dime has ever been spent on a salary of any sort because CCS is a 501(c)(3) organization that is truly run entirely by volunteers. It always has been, since its inception in the 1970s, and it always will be. Although affiliated with the town’s churches, CCS is non-denominational and provides assistance to clients without regard to their religious affiliation, if any.

“The only costs that are not directly related to assistance or food for the clients are a post office box, a phone line, and insurance for the truck,” CCS Chairman Ellen Wiklanski told the Transcript.

It’s true that the Food Pantry, which serves about 100 clients per month year round, is a main focus of the CCS volunteers, they have also been busy over the past several weeks collecting, coordinating and distributing food for the Thanksgiving dinners CCS provides to 75 families in town. And they’ll be delivering hot Thanksgiving dinners on Thanksgiving Day to 22 shut-ins.

“Then we’ll do it all again for Christmas!” added Wiklanski.

In addition to providing Thanksgiving and Christmas meals to their clients, CCS is already focused on making the Christmas holiday more joyous for local youngsters in need with gifts of warm clothes and a few special gifts. One way the community can help in this endeavor is by taking a tag from the tree at the Post Office on Park Street and returning the gift by mid-December, with the tag attached, to ensure that Santa delivers it to the right child.

How to donate

Donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. CCS automatically provides receipts to those who donate $250 or more. Tax receipts for donations of any amount will be provided by CCS upon request by the donor.

The Transcript will acknowledge all donations in the newspaper each week. If you wish to remain anonymous, or dedicate your donation to a loved one, please include a note.

Please make checks payable to “Christian Community Service” or “CCS,” not to the newspaper. Checks may be mailed to the Transcript at P.O. Box 7, North Reading, MA 01864.

Those who wish to drop off their donations in person may do so at the North Reading branch of the Reading Cooperative Bank, 170 Park St. (next to Ryer’s Store). Please specify to the bank teller your intention to donate to the Transcript’s Neighbor Helping Neighbor Fund to ensure it is recorded on the tally sheet the bank will forward to us for acknowledgement in the newspaper.

Together, we can make the 30th annual Neighbor Helping Neighbor Fund drive the most successful it has ever been!

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