2021: More families need your help to celebrate the holidays this year, says NJ 211

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Nearly 400 applications, more than $25,000 in donations and contributions from over half of the municipalities in Burlington County. 

Those numbers show where Give A Christmas — the Burlington County Times’ annual program that provides struggling families with funds to help them buy presents — stands with just 30 days until Santa comes to town.

Last year, the Times distributed $59,600 to Burlington County families, according to executive editor Audrey Harvin. 

So far, NJ 211, a nonprofit that’s helped the Times connect families with funds since 2019, has received 388 applications. 

As of last week, the number of applications is up by about 7% from last year, according to Kevin Donahue, chief operating officer of NJ 211. 

This means the Times and NJ 211 will need to distribute about $4,000 more in order to match the increased needs of our community. 

With your help, we can not only reach that number but surpass it.

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Our readers in 21 Burlington County towns — and even one in Trenton — have already helped us raise $25,665 since we began this year’s Give A Christmas campaign last month. 

We’ve received contributions big and small. Some were to pay forward the generosity they’ve received in the prior years, while many were to honor loved ones. 

“The Give a Christmas program has been running very smoothly this year,” said Donahue. “And while it’s a lot of paperwork for our staff, everyone feels good to be a part of such a wonderful program.” 

No matter the size, every contribution helps; whether you can donate $25 — our smallest donation — $50 or $100 â€” tied for the most frequent donations — or $20,000 — our largest single donation. 

Applications for assistance closed Sunday, so now it’s up to readers like you to help us meet and beat our goal to help more families in need this year. 

“I am truly impressed with the generosity and kindness of all the donors who make it possible,” said Donahue. “It’s great that together we can bring a little extra Christmas joy to families in need.” 

About the Give A Christmas program

The Burlington County Times’ annual Give A Christmas program helps struggling Burlington County families celebrate the holidays by providing them with gift cards to purchase presents. 

 NJ 211 — the Times’ partner organization for the program —  is a nonprofit that connects people with community resources that provide living necessities.

While applications for assistance closed on Nov. 21, there is no deadline for donations.

Although assistance from the Give A Christmas program is only available to Burlington County residents, anyone in New Jersey can text NJ 211 at 898211 for help. They are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Anyone interested in donating can do so at www.burlingtoncountytimes.com/giveachristmas

For questions about the Give A Christmas program, contact Executive Editor Audrey Harvin at aharvin@gannett.com

Aedy Miller covers education and the economy for the Burlington County Times, Courier-Post, and The Daily Journal. They are a multimedia journalist from Central Jersey and a recent graduate of the George Washington University.

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