Bud Jones can’t decide which to do first – thank contributors for all they‘ve given to make this Hope House’s biggest Christmas outpouring ever – or get down to particulars on what he still needs. So he does both in one breath.
“I need to thank the public for making this all possible, and also give them a chance to see what all they support and the good it does,” he said
“And by the way, we need 65 more sponsors for gift bags for kids, and we need all the good, usable coats we can get – any size – from toddlers up to teenagers.”
The gift bags are black plastic trash bags, about 25-gallon size, stuffed full of clothing and toys – coats, shoes, shirts or blouses, socks, and toys bought by Hope House in bulk and parceled out among the bags. Occasionally the toy supercedes the bag, as in the case of a number of bicycles with their bags attached to the handlebars.
There are more than 325 bags this year, picked up by parents who are unable to provide the clothing and gifts for their children.
Oh, and did we say 65 more sponsors – individuals or groups – are needed to provide Christmas to children? It takes about $100 to $125 to fill a bag for a child. You’ll get a list of clothing and sizes needed. All you need to do is go on a shopping spree for what’s needed to fill the bag. Contact the Hope House for instructions and marching orders at 625-4673.
Christmas cheer again this year consists of Christmas meals for seniors and others who need them. First Baptist Church of Oneonta will again, with Hope House’s assistance, cook and provide free carry-out ham dinners for those who are unable to provide for themselves. Hometown Bank provides the hams, Hope House provides the side dishes, and First Baptist Church handles preparation and distribution.
To request a Christmas meal, call Zack at the Hope House and ask to be put on the list for a meal. Meals can be picked up at First Baptist Church, or if you are unable to drive to pick them up, delivery can be arranged if you provide your address.
In addition, Christmas ham portions will be distributed to county senior centers, with portion size determined by the number of people in the family, submitted in advance. Last year, nearly 500 families were served among the county’s four senior centers.
“We have all been running like crazy since the first of November to handle the volume we’ve had this year,” Jones said.“We need more space so we can handle everything in one place. As it is, we end up stockpiling things in one place, parceling them out in another building, and giving them out somewhere else.
“It’s got us all just running with our tongues hanging out. I don’t know, maybe that’s just the Good Lord telling us we need to be doing something different,” he said.