Children's Christmas Fund helps those in need

The giving season has arrived. So as you dust off your ornaments, unpack the snowmen and scurry through your day, take a moment to remember the little ones.Last year, working in partnership with the Broken Bow Does, the Custer County Chief and the Children’s Christmas fund Board of directors, and through the generosity of people just like you, the Children’s Christmas Fund helped make the holiday season a little brighter for 519 children and their families.For over 60 years, the Children’s Fund has been helping those in need. The Fund provides each family a Christmas dinner plus a little extra for the pantry, as well as gifts for the little ones. The families are contacted through a variety of sources including Health and Human Services and the Broken Bow Ministerial Association. The names of those receiving the gifts are kept anonymous.The Fund traces its roots to a trio of businessmen who got together with an idea. They wanted to gather a couple of Christmas presents, a few trimmings for a tree, and a little food for a family or two they knew to be struggling. Over the next couple of years, as the number of families on the list multiplied, the trio went public with a plea for help.In 1953, the following notice appeared in the Custer County Chief.“A Fund has been started by a group of Broken Bow businessmen with a goal of raising enough money to ensure that no child in Broken Bow, or the surrounding area will be without toys and the trimmings at Christmas, a children’s holiday … ”The fund brought in $168 that year. The paper didn’t say how many families were helped, nor did it give any further information about the organization, but the paper did emphasize that the need was apparent and the giving humbling. It was around that time they asked the Broken Bow Does to help.“I think it is important to note that 100 percent of the moneys donated to the Children’s Christmas Fund goes to help those less fortunate and 100 percent of those funds stay at home,” stated Custer County Chief Publisher Deb McCaslin.“There are no overhead costs, no salaries to pay and no advertising fees. Everyone working for and with the Children’s Christmas Fund serves as a volunteer,” she said, adding that the fund is there to help children in need, not just as Christmas, but throughout the year as needs occurred. Six years ago the Fund filed formal articles of incorporation, naming Julianna Jenkins, Carolyn Mohler, Ann Kawata, Pat Jackson and Deb McCaslin to the board of directors and placing the moneys earned with the Custer County Foundation. “This means that 100 percent of your donated dollars are tax deductible,” said McCaslin.Checks should be made out to the Custer County Foundation, ear-marked for the Children’s Christmas Fund, and mailed to the Custer County Chief at PO Box 190, Broken Bow, NE 68822.“Thanks everyone for thinking of others during this holiday season!”