It’s been more than six decades since A Community Christmas of Stark County Inc. began its quest to provide assistance to people in need during the holiday season.
In the past, monetary donations were accepted and used to purchase toys, food vouchers and gift cards for client families, explains the website, ACommunityChristmas.org. Donations of clothing, books and Christmas decorations also were collected and distributed.
This year, however, the cause has been curtailed because of the coronavirus.
“Due to COVID-19, A Community Christmas of Stark County Inc. must modify our programs,” said a posting on the website. “All in-person operations will be suspended this year,” said the explanation, noting that the curtailment affects such programs as Adopt-A-Family, Christmas Giving Center and General Distribution, Coats For Christmas, Giving Trees and Mitten Trees.
Adopt-A-Family and Christmas Giving Center are combined in 2020, and in-person registration and applications were conducted only through the mail. Those seeking assistance from Adopt-A-Family and Christmas Giving Center were asked to go online to the group’s website and click on a link for an application form which they mailed to A Community Christmas. The deadline was in October.
Collection boxes for Coats For Christmas were absent from local churches and businesses this year, and Giving Trees also were not placed for collection in 2020.
Still, monetary donations can be mailed to A Community Christmas at P.O. Box 20050, Canton, OH 44701. What assistance A Community Christmas will be able to give to those in need this holiday season is to be mailed out to recipients by December 10, officials promised.
“A Community Christmas of Stark County Inc. deeply regrets having to suspend our programs for this year,” the organization’s website apologized. “We look forward to returning to normal operations next year. In the meantime, we are committed to helping as many Stark County residents as possible this year.”