BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Christmas is for Kids is an opportunity for community members and businesses to make the holidays brighter for children throughout Penobscot and Piscataquis Counties.
It is a partnership between Penquis and Blueberry Broadcasting radio stations, for nearly 40 (36) years.
Christmas is for Kids is a community-based campaign that currently collaborates with 12 local agencies. The service providers for these organizations identify families facing significant hardships and then enroll the children in Christmas is for Kids.
This year's Christmas is for Kids started with more than 1,000 (1064) children on the website www.christmasisforkids.org.
When you visit the website you will find both first and second choice gifts as well as information about the child's interests and background. Hardships could be that the family is experiencing homeless or the loss of an income. It could be a single parent family or family members struggling because of an illness.
Christmas is for Kids makes it possible to select a child and give a donation online to cover the purchase of that gift or to shop and drop off the gift at the sponsoring agency. The website also accepts general donations, which are used to provide gifts for children who have not been sponsored.
In addition to providing kids with a present, Christmas is for Kids also connects the public with the work of local agencies. "When you buy a gift you can deliver it to the agency and learn more about them," she said. "You get to see a person and get thanked in person."
Those that give to this program often get as much joy from it as the children receiving the gifts. Giving is often personal for people. People may give because they are grateful for what they have and want to give back, people may want to pay in forward because they received help at a time when they faced a hardship. They may want to teach their children about giving to others, sometimes they give in memory of a loved one. We hear beautiful stories of giving each year associated with Christmas is for Kids that bolsters the holiday spirit of giving.
In addition to spreading holiday cheer, the gift is making a difference. The kids and parents are so thankful.
There are still more than a hundred children waiting for a sponsor. To find a child to sponsor, visit www.christmasisforkids.org. The deadline for dropping off a gift is December 18.
For more information, contact Penquis at 973-3500. Penquis is a central drop off location for all unwrapped gifts. Check and cash donations are also accepted at Penquis at 262 Harlow St., Bangor, ME 04401