Brighter Christmas Fund kicks off 33rd year
EASTON — As the season of giving nears, The Star Democrat is starting its annual fundraiser that aims to make Christmas more special for Mid-Shore children who are less fortunate.
This holiday season marks the 33rd year for
The Star Democrat’s Brighter Christmas Fund. From now through December, The Star Democrat will publish daily stories detailing the current situation of a family, asking Mid-Shore community members for monetary donations to distribute to local families and their children who are less fortunate.
In 2015, the Brighter Christmas Fund raised $145,000 — by far the most raised in a single year — to help 800 families with 1,800 children have a better Christmas. It was also the 12th consecutive year the fund has raised more than $100,000.
“Last year really made me feel good about our community. Seeing that
number roll in says a tremendous amount about the giving spirit of our community,” said Star Democrat Publisher David Fike. Fike also is president of APG Media of Chesapeake, the paper’s owner.
The crux of the Brighter Christmas Fund is to make sure every child in need has a present to open over Christmas, Fike said, and the Mid-Shore community really chips in to make sure that happens each year.
The Brighter Christmas Fund’s success hasn’t been driven much by large donations either. A vast majority of the donations are made $30 to $40 at a time. The Star Democrat also donates all the fund’s administrative operating costs.
“There’s a lot of nonprofits in the marketplace, and I encourage people during this time of the year to donate to anywhere they feel compelled to donate,” Fike said. “There is a need. People don’t necessarily see it every day, but it’s there. It’s amazing the stories that we hear about the need in our community, and anything we can do to help the cause, we’re going to try to help.”
Those wishing to donate to the fund may send contributions to The Brighter Christmas Fund, c/o The Star
Democrat, P.O. Box 600, 29088 Airpark Drive, Easton, MD 21601. Donations also may be made online at www.brighterchristmasfund.org (click the donate button).
Representatives of local social services departments and nonprofit agencies whose clients are helped by the Brighter Christmas Fund met earlier this year to discuss plans for the fund’s 33rd year of helping provide toys and clothing to children for Christmas. The fund now is accepting applications for children in need. The deadline to submit these applications is Wednesday, Nov. 23.
Members of the board of directors for The Star Democrat’s Brighter Christmas Fund recently met to prepare for the fund’s 33rd year. From left, seated: Melodie Haufe, Gwen Fike and Tracy Berrigan; standing: Tim Matis, John Griep, Paul Hagood, Dave Alltop, David Fike, Tony Mohan and Tim Kagan. Not pictured: Laura Ambler and Michael Wheatley.