Richland nonprofit prepares for Christmas

By Kristi Pihl, Tri-City HeraldOctober 28, 2012 

It only took an hour to get about 200 children signed up to receive Christmas gifts and clothes from Richland's Jericho Road Ministries this December.

Executive Director Amy Schultz, the nonprofit's executive director, described the registration as "overwhelming."

More than two hours before the registration began Thursday night, she said, they already had families lining up outside their offices.

While they had room for a few more children after the event, Schultz said that likely already is filled from phone calls.

Schultz said Jericho Road Ministries increased its number of children this year. Last year, it provided toys and clothing for about 140 kids, and was able to pass on some toys to other agencies such as the Salvation Army, that also offer Christmas help.

All families had to show proof of income and ID for all family members in order to qualify, Schultz said.

Each child will receive one large toy and several small stocking stuffer toys, she said. They also get three to five outfits per family member, including adults. Household goods such as blankets, coffee pots and other necessities also are offered.

Schultz said the nonprofit needs donations of new toys and new children's clothing sizes 4 to 14. Donations need to be in by Dec. 10, she said.

It also is looking for volunteers willing to be personal shoppers or willing to wrap presents when the parents come Dec. 15 to choose the gifts, she said.

The nonprofit moved the sign ups to the evening this year to accommodate working parents who are low income. Schultz said that did seem to work better than in the daytime.

Schultz said the nonprofit hopes other programs will be able to take care of the children that it can't.

Donations can be dropped off at the nonprofit's office at the Richland Church of the Nazarene, 2500 Jericho Road in Richland. If you want to help, call 627-0750.

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