Kiwanis looking to spread more holiday cheer in Jefferson County

December 05, 2007|By DAVE McMILLION

RANSON, W.Va. - A local organization that sponsors a Christmas toy program for needy children has seen a 45 percent increase in requests this holiday season, a spokeswoman for the group said Tuesday night.

The most children served by the Charles Town Kiwanis Club through its Santa's Toy Shop has been 460, but that number rose to 748 children this year, Gordie Thorpe told Ranson City Council members.

Thorpe could not pinpoint exactly what was causing the increase.

Because of declines in donations for the program and increasing numbers of children to serve, Thorpe has been asking local governments to pitch in.

The Jefferson County Commission donated $2,000 last week and the City of Charles Town has donated $600, officials said.

Sensitive to the number of children eligible for the program from their town, Ranson City Council members decided to donate $1,500.


A little more than 30 percent of the children served by the Santa's Toy Shop live in Ranson, Thorpe said.

Because of decreasing donations and more children to serve, Thorpe said the local Kiwanis club likes to spend $45 per child but has been faced so far this year with spending as little as $18 per child.

Thorpe said she hopes to raise an additional $1,000 to beef up the Christmas toy giveaway for kids.

Jefferson County Community Ministries screens all children eligible for the program to make sure the kids are not already receiving assistance from any other source, Thorpe said.

How to help

To make a donation to the Charles Town Kiwanis Club's Santa's Toy Shop, contact Gordie Thorpe, the club's treasurer, at 304-725-9686.

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