It's hard to imagine but in less than a week the 22nd annual Community Christmas Campaign will be history. Delivery of this year's holiday baskets is set for Wednesday, Dec. 19. On that day, hundreds of food baskets as well as toys and clothing items will be delivered in Sikeston in a tradition that began in 1979.
Despite dire predictions from many - including myself - donations for the 2001 campaign have been outstanding. I quit frankly feared that the events of Sept. 11 would surely impact the level of donations from the community. But the opposite has been true. Perhaps there is a communal spirit of generosity in the wake of the national events. Whatever the case, we're pleased to report that donations this year are actually above last year's totals. That certainly speaks well for this community.
The only remaining need for the campaign is for volunteer delivery assistance next Wednesday. Several groups including the Methodist Men's Association and the Sikeston Jaycees have volunteered delivery help next week. Public Safety officers also lend a hand in the delivery effort. But the more delivery people the less time it takes to deliver the hundreds of baskets throughout the community. It takes only a willing spirit and a strong back to join the delivery force.
Just call the newspaper at 471-1137 to volunteer your help this year.
It seems as though every year brings a different surprise for the Christmas Campaign. And it's those unexpected gifts of generosity that make the campaign a success. This year for example, the Rotary Club substantially increased their donation to the campaign. Then along comes the Bootheel Golf Club with hundreds of gifts and a check for $2,500. This week, Jarvis Motors called and donated 85 new toys for the children being assisted this year. None of these surprises were planned but each will add substantially to the quantity and quality of the baskets. We can never fully express our gratitude.
When Santa has completed his task and the baskets are delivered, we'll provide a breakdown of what your generosity provided this year. Until then accept our thanks for a community of givers and a community filled with people who think of others during this most important holiday season.
Merry Christmas - a little bit early!