Local News

Holiday Cheer Program in Need of Help

Posted September 26, 2007

— Some needy children may go without Christmas presents this year. Wake County has announced it can no longer run its Holiday Cheer program.

The county is asking other agencies to step in, but even the larger charities are worried about not having enough resources to help.

Wake County Human Services has run the Holiday Cheer program for more than 30 years. The program connects donors with people in need during the holiday season. Last year, they served 3,000 people.

“We don't want anyone to fall through the cracks and not get served,” said Regina Petteway,  director of community initiatives for Wake County Human Services.

Petteway said the program has become too big for the county to handle on its own.

"We still have the same staff of two people to do this that we had many years ago,” she said.

So the county is asking for local charities, like the Salvation Army, to take over.

"Our hope is that with working with the other organizations and reaching out to the community that we can all stretch a little bit more to serve more children than usual,” said Christine Shaw, director of social ministries for the Salvation Army.

Officials with Wake County Human Services plan to meet with non-profit groups and church leaders on Thursday to discuss a plan to save the Holiday Cheer program.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • billy Sep 26, 2007

    bronzegoddess40 has the attitude that I wish everyone had.
    Get help if you need it, but when you can "give back".

  • bronzegoddess40 Sep 26, 2007

    It is ashame that some people do use the system to get things where really needy people do suffer. I was a single parent working mininum wage and my children did receive Christmas cheer for one year. I made sure that my children got only what they really needed such as hat, gloves, underwear. I did not allow them to ask for any toys or anything expensive. They were very appreciative of what they received, it was not much but it was something. I made a promise that year, that when I got on my feet and able to afford it, I would give back and help a (truly) needy family and that what I have done for the last 14 years. I wish everyone would feel that way and we would not have the mess we have. As you get help and get self sufficient, then you give back and help someone else become self sufficient and the cycle would stop.

  • bronzegoddess40 Sep 26, 2007

    2alegal= I find that hard to believe that it would be the same child because in most cases and we have done Angel Tree at our church, the children on the tree is anonymous you know nothing but what they are requesting(usually clothes), the size and the age. So my question is how would you know it is the same child or even who it is on several trees because there is no information to tell you this?

  • billy Sep 26, 2007

    I think we all should help the truly needy. The disabled and aged. I think the ones that are healthy and able should be working. There are jobs available for those that want them.
    Ask 20 million illegal aliens.
    Help the really needy and put the others to work.
    Just a thought.

  • JuanGrande v3.0 Sep 26, 2007

    Don't give toys, give food or clothing. The Salvation Army is very good at determining need for gifts, food, and clothing. They do run as best of a background check as possible for their clients. Plus they only serve a family ONCE in a 12 month period. If a family has requested help two years in a row they are then dropped from consideration. There is only so much a charity can do with what little they receive.

  • -info- Sep 26, 2007

    I donate food to the food bank, like many have stated here, the majority of Americans idea of poor is only one cell phone and one TV..............few Americans know poor unless they are in a shelter......

  • JuanGrande v3.0 Sep 26, 2007

    Sorry Virginia, there is no Santa Claus.

  • pinklady-1 Sep 26, 2007

    it's really sad that the truly needy children will suffer, as a result of the greedy, freeloaders taking advantage of the system...i say don't stop with this program...revamp the whole welfare system!...my husband and i work everyday to provide for our family, and these lazy, welfare receiving bums can do the same!...there are plenty of jobs, but most people have the mindset that they are too good to do this job or that job...everyone wants to start at the top and get something for nothing...i am sick of it!...enough is enough

  • thecatsmeow67 Sep 26, 2007

    This may be slightly off topic but my m-i-l is on a fixed income and tires to make usre that all the grandchildren get something from her. My huisband's nephew got a shower radio/mp3/CD player from her last year and the 1st out of his mouth was where is the MP3 player. My DH almost got up and smacked him for disrespecting his g-mother but if you knew my s-i-l you would understand. I don't even attempt to adopt a "Charity" family because you never know what you are getting into. JMHO.

  • Groovy Sep 26, 2007

    I think something does need to be revamped & re-thought. my company is very generous to our community and we raise funds all year 'round to adopt 3 or 4 families at Christmas. Last year we delivered christmas presents and all of the trimmings to one family in particular that claimed they couldn't afford to even buy school clothes for their children. It was very diheartening to see the beer cans piled up, four-wheelers and other unnecessary things (they found a way to buy those items. And of course, they were referred to us by Social Services. This year we changed our program and discreetly adopted 3 families within our own company that would otherwise not have asked for any help. Charity begins at home. look around you, someone you know probably needs real help. There will always be people who will take whatever they can so they can continue to be lazy and unmotivated. cut 'em off and see how motivated they get.