By Chris Ruvo:
For 30 years now, the Give A Christmas campaign has helped local people experiencing financial hardship during the holiday season.
That mission strongly appealed to the Francis J. Raab Foundation — so much so that the Montgomery County-based nonprofit just donated $20,000 to the 2017 Give A Christmas fund drive.
The contribution exceeds the already sizeable annual donations of $15,000 that the Raab Foundation made in both 2015 and 2016.
“It’s one of those charities where the support goes directly to the folks who need a helping hand,” David Creamer, treasurer of the foundation, said in explaining part of the motivation for the donation to Give A Christmas.
The Give A Christmas program helps less fortunate families in Central and Upper Bucks County, as well as Eastern Montgomery County and the North Penn and Indian Valley communities.
Conducted in partnership with The Intelligencer and Souderton-based Keystone Opportunity Center, Give A Christmas is primarily administered by the Bucks County Opportunity Council. The organization was ecstatic to receive another generous donation from the Raab Foundation, which has now donated $50,000 over the last three years.
“The generosity of the Raab Foundation is extraordinary, and it has a tremendous impact on our community,” said Joseph Cuozzo, director of development at the Bucks County Opportunity Council. “Their $20,000 gift this year will help hundreds of families in need.”
The Rabb Foundation is fueled by the generous spirit of the man whose name it bears — Francis J. Raab, an Oreland native who served as a radio operator in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was shot down over Germany in a B-24 Liberator bomber, and captured as a prisoner of war.
After returning to the United States, Raab resided in Maple Glen before passing away a few years ago. Raab was known for his spirit of giving to others in the community, and his family created the Francis J. Raab Foundation so that his generosity might live on. The organization puts its primary focus on lending support to veterans, and looks for the opportunity to support worthy charities as well, Creamer said.
Certainly Give A Christmas fits the worthy bill. Money raised during the campaign drives a range of assistance initiatives, from helping parents buy gifts and groceries, to aiding with rent payments, medical bills and utility needs.
Give A Christmas has been doing that work since the late 1980s. Thanks to generous donations from the community, Give A Christmas has raised about $2.8 million since its inception.
“We do a lot of research to find good causes,” said Creamer. “This is one we like.”