Another year of Project Christmas is all wrapped up after gifts were wrapped and food boxed last week at Jackson Electric and then delivered to 507 deserving people throughout Jackson County.
“I think this year was probably one of the best years. We had so many people help us out,” Project Christmas Board President Deb Horan said.
Horan figures that there were close to 1,000 volunteers that helped out with various parts of Project Christmas to make it a reality. Most of the volunteers helped last Tuesday to wrap gifts and last Thursday to package food for the families.
“Every single person contributes to Project Christmas. That is what makes it so cool and such a community event,” Horan said.
The people that come back year after year are a large reason Project Christmas is a special event for the community.
“We have people that come year after year that are excited. I’ve heard them say that Christmas doesn’t seem like Christmas unless we do something with Project Christmas,” Horan said.
For newcomers seeing Project Christmas for the first time, it can be a transformative event for them.
“We had a lot of new people come and a lot of them didn’t know exactly what Project Christmas is,” Horan said. “When they come to the gift wrapping night and when they come to the food packing night, I think they are amazed at how it works.”
For the families that receive the packages from Project Christmas, it helps make Christmas a reality.
“A lot of families are living on a wing and a prayer. Some of the families said that they really wouldn’t have Christmas if they didn’t get the gifts from Project Christmas for their children,” Horan said.
She also said that some people are very thankful for the food vouchers, which this year included $30 to use at 12 different locations and a $5 voucher for dairy products from the Jackson County Dairy Promotion Committee.
Horan wanted to give a special thank you to all of the businesses and individuals that made donations to Project Christmas this year, especially Jackson Electric for allowing the gift wrapping and food packaging to be completed in their building.
“They clear out their maintenance garage that is heated. They clean it for us, they assist us with everything. They let us use their forklift, they let us use their hand truck. They are awesome,” Horan said.
Horan also wanted to recognize the 75-80 drivers that go all over the county.
“They go on the very small roads out in the country and they work really hard to find people. I just want them to get some recognition because we couldn’t do this without them,” Horan said.