The Newcomers Club of Nevada County
Christmas Families Project
Our Christmas Families Project was started in 2002 and has grown from two families and four gift certificates to 60 families (145 children) and 60 gift certificates! Most of the funds that will be needed are raised at our October Live and Silent Auctions with additional generous donations from some of our 275 members.
This program is designed to be a “helping hand up, not a hand out” for families who are working, attending school for new job skills or find themselves in a temporary, negative economic situation. Each family is carefully screened by Helping Hands Nurturing Center, Women of Worth or the Friendship Club.
The chosen families fill out Wish Lists with each child’s age, gender, clothing sizes and special gift requests. We start getting the family wish lists in mid-November. Each family is given a number (for anonymity) and then the wish lists are given to our Shoppers. The Shopper will spend up to $80 for each child. Once the Shoppers have completed their purchases, they deliver their unwrapped gifts to our Wrapping Center. The gifts start coming in just before Thanksgiving and they keep coming in until the cutoff date, December 12th. By then, the gifts will all have been wrapped, bagged and tagged for delivery to the agencies. This will take 60-80 Shoppers and 30-50 Wrappers. That’s a lot of volunteers! And we’re not done yet!
We also have a Special Items budget to provide items needed by some families that go beyond the scope of a normal gift purchase. Special Items might be a sewing machine, pots and pans, cribs, Kindles, beds or bicycles. If there are Special Items listed on the Wish Lists, we may be able to find them in new, nearly new or good condition.
Each family member will also receive what we lovingly call a “Ditty Bag” containing a toothbrush, floss, toothpaste, shampoos, conditioners, lotions, etc. These bags are put together by yet another team of Newcomers.
From the first receipt of the Wish Lists to the final delivery to the agencies at their chosen drop off points, our Newcomers members work hard and long to be sure that each child and each of our families will have a Happy Christmas.
If you are interested in more information about out Newcomers Club or our Christmas Families Project, please contact us using our Contact Us page.