Transcript’s Neighbor Fund exceeds $41,000

Dec 31, 2020 by

Published December 31, 2020

Updated from the print edition January 1, 2020

 By MAUREEN DOHERTY

NORTH READING — Thanks to an infusion of an additional $3,100 of Christmas cheer, the Transcript’s 31st annual Neighbor Helping Neighbor Fund (NHNF) to benefit Christian Community Service (CCS) has surpassed $41,000 this week.

The exact total as the drive enters its final week is $41,087. We’ll have to check our archives but we’re pretty certain this is a record, or close to it, in the 31-year history of the newspaper’s drive to support locally grown nonprofit Christian Community Service (CCS).

We will keep the fund active through Little Christmas (January 6) to give the U.S. Post Office a few extra days to catch up on its deliveries. Final acknowledgements will be published in the January 14 edition of the newspaper.

All funds donated to the NHNF remain in the community to assist struggling families and individuals through the programs provided by the volunteers affiliated with CCS.

Among this week’s top donors were The Jewelry Vault at 4 Lowell Road, the Reynolds family, and the Brandano family, each of whom contributed checks for $500.

Many contributors have been long-time supporters of the NHNF, such as a family who anonymously memorializes Ralph Douglas every year. Anyone who lived in town from the 1950s to the 1980s would have known Mr. Douglas. Small or large, every dollar adds up. Gifts have ranged from $2 to $10,000 this year (and both of those were anonymous too!).

As a 501(c)(3) organization, all donations to CCS are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. CCS is non-denominational and made up of representatives and volunteers from the town’s churches. Assistance is provided confidentially and without regard to religious affiliation, if any.

The ongoing pandemic continues to place an additional strain on the finances of most people, but especially hard hit have been those families who already have a difficult time making ends meet. Others may be seeking assistance for the first time in their lives after the unexpected shuttering of their businesses, a layoff notice from their place of employment, or an extended illness. It is good to know there are caring people in your hometown who are happy to help in more ways than most residents of town probably ever realized.

CCS runs the town’s Food Pantry year-round and partners with many businesses and individuals to provide Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner baskets to Food Pantry clients plus gifts of warm clothing and toys at the holidays to the children of its clients. Those accepting financial assistance from CCS must agree to utilize the Food Pantry too, as it is the philosophy of CCS that shopping at the pantry enables clients to save money normally spent on food and household necessities and use the savings to put toward other bills in their household budget.

When CCS supplements food donations on its pantry shelves with purchases made through the Greater Boston Food Bank, it is making your donations go farther too because those purchases are subsidized at 25 cents on the dollar.

The Transcript’s Neighbor Helping Neighbor Fund (NHNF) also helps CCS provide emergency financial aid year round to clients with a demonstrated need. CCS pays that assistance directly to the provider of the service, not the client. In short, they handle their funds with impeccable care and their overhead is small because they do not have any paid employees.

How to donate

The Transcript will acknowledge each donation received in print and pass them on to CCS. Those who donate $250 or more will be automatically mailed a tax receipt. CCS provides receipts upon request for donations under $250 if the donor provides a name and address.

Donors are welcome to dedicate their donations to a loved one; simply include a note with your check. And you can be assured that if you wish to remain anonymous your donation will truly remain so as confidentiality is guaranteed both in our handling of donations received and in the way in which donations are handled by CCS.

Please make checks payable to “Christian Community Service” or “CCS,” not to the newspaper. Mail checks to the North Reading Transcript “NHNF” at 26 Albion St., Wakefield, MA 01880. You may also drop off donations in person at our office at the above address in downtown Wakefield (a night drop box is located opposite the front door for contactless donations).

Those who wish to drop off their donation in person closer to home 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 as you would like it to appear in print. The bank forwards these sheets to us for acknowledgement in the newspaper.

Transcript 2020 NHNF donor list, week 6:

• The Jewelry Vault, 4 Lowell Rd.— $500

• From the Reynolds Family— $500

• Anthony & Kathleen Brandano— $500

• The Kelly Family— $300

• Anonymous Friend— $200

• Amanda & Michael Swiatocha— $200

• In memory of our parents from Phil & Diane Norris — $150

• In memory of Allen Burgess: Thank you for all of the baseball— $100

• Tom & Mary Pat DeSwarte— $100

• In memory of Ralph Douglas— $100

• Christine & J.A. Woodroffe— $100

• Paula & Michael Golini— $100

• From Sophie & Snowbell— $100

• In honor of the Kieran Family— $50

• In memory of Papa Charlie & Nana Helen from Bill, Michael, Rachel & Matthew— $50

• In memory of Charles P. Emma— $25

• In honor of Alex & Hope Rabasco— $25

• Anonymous— $2

Week 6 subtotal………………  $3,102

Previously acknowledged….  $37,985

New total ………………………  $41,087

**Please note: Two typographical errors have been corrected from the print edition. These errors do not change the monetary subtotal for Week 6 or new total of donations received.

The donation in memory of Charles P. Emma should have read $25, not $15.

The donation in honor of Alex and Hope Rabasco for $25 was included in this week’s total but inadvertently omitted from this week’s print edition.

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