Christ­mas Mother cam­paign kicks off

Re­tired teacher Jeanne Hensel to lead this year’s giv­ing ef­fort

The Progress-Index - - FRONT PAGE - By Michael Buet­tner Staff Writer

CH­ESTER­FIELD — You might think it’s too early in the year for re­tail­ers to put out their Christ­mas dis­plays, but it’s never too early to start think­ing about shar­ing the joy of Christ­mas with a less priv­i­leged child or se­nior.

On Tues­day, sup­port­ers of the Ch­ester­field/Colo­nial Heights Christ­mas Mother pro­gram gath­ered at the his­toric Mag­no­lia Grange house mu­seum in Ch­ester­field to kick off their sea­sonal cam­paign with the in­tro­duc­tion of this year’s Christ­mas Mother, Jeanne Hensel.

Hensel, a re­tired teacher who taught in the county for more than 25 years, has worked be­hind the scenes for the pro­gram for sev­eral years and is an en­thu­si­as­tic sup­porter of its mis­sion: “to in­sure that in our com­mu­nity, no fam­ily is with­out food, no child is with­out toys, books or cloth­ing, and

no el­der is for­got­ten, as we cel­e­brate the hol­i­days."

"I look for­ward to get­ting out into the com­mu­nity and telling peo­ple about us, mak­ing them aware of what they can do," she said. "I've found that most peo­ple in the county are very gen­er­ous and want to help."

Hensel in­vited the au­di­ence to imag­ine the pro­gram's ware­house near the county fair­grounds as it will ap­pear in De­cem­ber, stocked with "rows and rows of toys, clothes and books, ready and wait­ing. Pic­ture the par­ents walk­ing through and pick­ing out cer­tain items for their chil­dren. ... Think about Christ­mas morn­ing. A child goes un­der the Christ­mas tree ... and finds a spe­cial gift that would not have been there" with­out the gen­eros­ity of Christ­mas Mother sup­port­ers.

"We re­ally do make a dif­fer­ence in the lives of the chil­dren and the el­derly in our com­mu­nity," she said.

Up­com­ing Christ­mas Mother events in­clude the pro­gram's an­nual fundrais­ing auc­tion, to be held on Satur­day, Nov. 4, from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Cul­tural Cen­ter of In­dia, 6641 Iron­bridge Park­way, Ch­ester.

Founded in 1972, the Christ­mas Mother pro­gram part­ners with the Ch­ester­field-Colo­nial Heights Depart­ment of So­cial Ser­vices, schools and churches to iden­tify in­di­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies who meet guide­lines and are truly in need of help. Sup­port­ers shop year­round for cloth­ing, toys and gifts and also pur­chase gift cards for food. Gifts and do­na­tions of money, cloth­ing, toys, books and food gift cards are grate­fully ac­cepted.

To vol­un­teer or make a do­na­tion, call (804) 748-1183, email cchchrist­mas­mother@gmail.com or visit the Christ­mas Mother web­site at cchchrist­mas­mother.com or the Face­book page at www.face­book.com/CCHChrist­mas­Mother

[MICHAEL BUET­TNER/PROGRESS-IN­DEX.COM]

Jeanne Hensel, the Ch­ester­field/Colo­nial Heights Christ­mas Mother for 2017, shares her en­thu­si­asm for the char­i­ta­ble pro­gram dur­ing a re­cep­tion at his­toric Mag­no­lia Grange in Ch­ester­field on Tues­day, Oct. 10, 2017.

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