The Transylvania Times -

Despite Weather Delay: Children Treasure Christmas Project 2017


December 21, 2017

Courtesy photo

This elf helps a young girl sort through a variety of gift baskets.

For seven years, St. Philip's Episcopal Church has organized the Christmas Project to allow local children to experience the joy of giving at Christmas. This year, however, a big snow laid a blanket of beauty upon the county to be enjoyed by all...except the elves and shepherds who were all prepared to host 325 children at Christmas Project 2017.

Children enrolled at Rise & Shine Freedom School, El Centro Comunitario, and the Cindy Platt Boys & Girls Club are invited each December to gather at a huge Christmas party and select two beautifully wrapped gift baskets filled with gifts for the adults in their lives. After the basket selection, they enjoy a party with cookies, Christmas music and Santa.

On Dec. 8, the day of the big party, the snow fell and fell and fell, cancelling Christmas Project 2017 as well as most other county events. Co-chairs Ruth Anderson and Mary Adams, along with leaders of the Boys & Girls Club where the party is held, made the difficult decision to cancel the event.

All was not lost, however, as elves arrived to move the needed number of baskets from their central location to each of the three program sites. The following week, each program held its own party, distributing the gift baskets to their children. The huge, well-orchestrated party for 325 children turned into three separate parties at the three different sites.

Courtesy photo

This young boy is ready to check out.

"Yes, it was a very difficult decision," said Anderson. "So many hours and so many hundreds of volunteers are involved in this event, from collecting donated gifts to assembling and wrapping the baskets, to delivering 650 baskets to the Boys and Girls Club. And don't let me forget the hundreds of homemade cookies that are baked by our volunteer chefs!"

Anderson went on to express her appreciation for the volunteers who help with the project, and come from not only St. Philip's Church, but from the community at large. This is truly a project that "takes a village."

"The party is always so much fun!" said Adams. "We look forward to it all year, as do the children. So it was a disappointment to have to cancel it. But, in the end, the important thing is that the children get to take their gift baskets home to present to their parents or other loved ones. And that still happened."


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