2018 Giving makes Christmas possible for those in need

Sometimes, all the hard work in the world can still leave you a bit short around the holidays.

Jacklyn Flores knows the unfortunate reality.

The Warrington woman is a dedicated administrative assistant, and when she gets off the day job, she goes immediately to her next more pressing assignment: being a single mom to her two children, ages seven and five.

Paying for all life’s necessities with young children can be difficult. And, as Flores bravely admits, there isn’t much extra for Christmas gifts.

But thanks to The Intelligencer’s annual Give A Christmas effort, there will be presents beneath the tree for Flores’ children.

“I wouldn’t be able to do it on my own,” Flores said. “Every little bit of help goes such a long way toward helping families like ours in the community. For that, I am so thankful.”

Administered by the Bucks County Opportunity Council, with 10 percent of the proceeds shared with the Keystone Opportunity Center, Give A Christmas provides financial assistance to individuals and families in need during the holidays.

Benefiting local residents in need in Central and Upper Bucks County, as well as Eastern Montgomery County and the North Penn and Indian Valley communities, the fund delivers a variety of assistance. That includes everything from help with buying gifts and groceries, to paying rent, medicine bills and utility expenses.

Donations from families, businesses and individuals make the outreach possible. Thanks to such local donors, Give A Christmas has raised about $2.9 million since its inception in 1988.

With only one day left until Christmas, now is the time for locals with the means to contribute — to help propel the fund toward this season’s goal of $140,000 in donations, organizers say.

Rest assured, the money goes directly to benefit folks like the Flores family. If eligible requests during the holidays are fulfilled and there is money left over, the remaining funds can be used to provide assistance to eligible local residents throughout the year.

“Give A Christmas is an opportunity to support your community — to help your neighbors who need it most,” said Joseph Cuozzo, director of development at the Bucks County Opportunity Council.

Last year, Give A Christmas generated $139,439.46. That helped the Opportunity Council to provide assistance to 472 families (1,465 individuals). Average assistance per family was $187. Of the families served, average household income amounted to $16,211.

Flores encouraged folks to give what they can. The giving, she said, fills the hearts of families like hers with the sincerest gratitude.

“To anyone who has donated or is considering donating I would just say: Thank you,” Flores said. “People who need this support are truly grateful. You are helping so many families.”

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