The Escalon Ministerial Association (EMA) has kicked off its annual fundraising effort for its Christmas Fund Drive. Money donated to the consortium of local churches is used to provide holiday food vouchers for those in need in the community. The funds stay local, distributed to families here and used in local grocery stores.
“For some, this year has been a year of good things and growth – new family members, new jobs, promotions, graduations, etc. For others, this year has been a year of struggle and loss – losing family members, losing jobs, cut backs and hardships. For most, it has been a mix of both,” Escalon Ministerial Association President David Vander Meulen noted. “The point of the Christmas Fund is to offer a bit of support to those who have struggled through this last year. It is a reminder to them that, though there are hardships that they face, they are part of a community that cares and that wants to encourage them in the form of making the Christmas season a little bit easier.”
A longstanding Escalon effort, the Christmas Fund Drive has helped countless families through the years.
In 2018, the drive raised and distributed around $19,000 that went to support 210 families, accounting for a total of 964 individuals.
“These were people who were identified as needing some of that encouragement through our schools, our churches, other organizations or their own request,” Vander Meulen added.
Donations are currently being accepted – checks in any amount can be made out to Escalon Ministerial Association/CARE and mailed to P.O. Box 1, Escalon, CA 95320.
“It would be greatly appreciated if donations are received by Monday, Dec. 2,” said Vander Meulen. “This will give us the time we need to determine the value of the grocery vouchers for each family to use in time for Christmas celebrations.”
Vander Meulen said those who might know of a family that could benefit from the fund are asked to contact one of the local churches with the family’s name, address, telephone number and the number of people in their home.
Also, he said all in the community are invited to attend a special service on Sunday, Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. at Saron Lutheran Church for a combined Christmas service.