Newcomers club program made Christmas special for 131 kids |

Newcomers club program made Christmas special for 131 kids

Norb Souza (yes, husbands are volunteered) assembled all bikes under 20 imches. No bike goes without a helmet.
Submitted photo |

A “helping hand up” instead of a “helping hand out” is the Nevada County Newcomers Christmas families program. Thanks to a fantastic fundraiser auction, member/family/friend donations, and club contributions, 131 children in Nevada County enjoyed presents on 2015’s Christmas morning. The program is different as each child is personalized and the family (or child) “temporarily adopted.” Working from the child’s “wish list” and general information, shoppers scour the store for the “right” items, plus a team looks for those additional large items such as bicycles. A lot has to happen from receiving the family assignments from our groups (Nevada County Child Protective Services, Helping Hands Nurturing Center, Women of Worth and the Friendship Club); assembling the spreadsheets for each family; assigning those spreadsheets to the shoppers, members shopping and bringing their gifts to the wrapping location, supplemental gifts being assigned and wrapped; wrapping and bagging of the gifts; and finally, delivery to the designated locations for each group.

The children the club adopts have varied living situations. Some are living with their biological parents; some are being raised by another family member; others are in a foster home or a group home.

In some special cases, members, family and friends have responded to requests for some special items such as an automobile, 28 bicycles, microwave, refurbished PCs, Kindles, keyboard, guitar, etc. The program, and budget, is for the children’s Christmas but there is a small gift certificate and some special items for the adult(s). Through Newcomer’s group efforts, the program has grown from $400 and five children in 2002 to 131 children and over $10,000 in 2015. It is a tremendous seven-week effort that the Newcomers President said “takes a village” to happen.

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