Posted on 01/16/15
January 16, 2015, Monroe, NC – The 36th year of the Union County Christmas Bureau has come to a close. What began as a year of challenges turned into another successful year because of community partners and volunteers that have a passion to serve others in their community.
The Christmas Bureau was organized to help meet the needs of low income families in Union County. The Christmas Bureau is a collaborative effort of many agencies within the county and serves as a clearinghouse to help prevent duplication of assistance among families. The Christmas Bureau relies on monetary donations, toy and gift item donations and family sponsorships.
Volunteers helped to ensure packages were put together with care and diligence. Donors gave generously to provide gifts to more than 1,870 families that applied to receive Christmas assistance. And, more than 1,200 coats were given away to families on Saturday, December 6.
"This year's location was much smaller than the past facilities that have served as temporary homes for the Christmas Bureau," said Gloria Haney, volunteer services coordinator for Union County DSS and director of the Christmas Bureau. "However, in the end, because of the community partnerships that have been established, it wasn't as much of an issue as it appeared in the beginning."
Stegall Milling, Haigler Trucking, and Baucom Service donated the use of trailers to store gifts for each day of distribution. M. W. Commercial Realty secured a second warehouse space where food and bicycles were stored. The City of Monroe Fire Department assisted by moving the trailers on and off-site as needed.
There were more than 150 sponsors for families and children with specific gifts tailored just for them. These families and children received gifts outside of the donations given to the Christmas Bureau. Due to the limited space of the facility, this year's distribution became a drive-thru type service that kept things running very smoothly.
"The weather was extremely nice except for the final day which was drizzly and cold," Haney said. "Volunteers made the best of it and kept things going until the last family was served. Overall, this year was another successful year thanks to all the support the Christmas Bureau receives from the community."