DURHAM – The Share Your Christmas program still has about 500 people that need to be matched with those in Durham who are willing to donate gifts for the holidays. The deadline to sponsor clients was postponed from Monday to Wednesday in hopes of getting more support from the community.
“We have 484 people still left to sponsor, and we have two days,” Kim Shaw, executive director of The Volunteer Center, which runs the Share Your Christmas program, said Monday.
The Durham County Department of Social Services provides a list of those in need at the holidays. Each sponsored client receives $50 worth of Christmas gifts, and many include a wish list of items. Those who call the donation line can pick families or individuals they’d like to sponsor, and deliver the gifts themselves or through SYC.
Shaw said a lot of individuals are left on the list, yet to be matched.
“When people call in and want to sponsor, they want families with lots of children, and those tend to be the first to go, but we have a lot of individuals who are disabled, shut-in or can’t work for whatever reason,” she said. “The hardest ones to try to get sponsors for are mid-age who are disabled or unemployed. Those are kind of the forgotten population of the clients we have. But we still have a lot of families and elderly, too.”
This year’s Share Your Christmas goal is to give presents to 3,052 people, in 1,100 families.
“We’ve already sponsored close to 2,600 people,” Shaw said. “It’s this last push to get these 484. It’s only 132 cases.”
Monetary donations are also welcome, and volunteer shoppers buy the gifts. Money donations may be accepted through Dec. 10. But that pool of funds is low this year, too.
“We’re about $8,700 less than we had last year for that,” Shaw said.
Phone lines are open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Wednesday. The SYC lines for being matched with clients are 919-613-4515 or 919-998-8595. The deadline to donate money and gifts is Dec. 10, and families receive their Christmas presents a few days later.
SYC needs volunteer shoppers as well as volunteers to help at this year’s gift distribution center at Northgate Mall. To volunteer, call Nancy Wykle at 919-681-1835 or Lynn Odom at 919-613-5105. Clients and DSS pick up gifts at Northgate.