Friday, November 22, 2013

Please help provide children in state care with holiday gifts

Last year's Santa's workshop in Tim's basement. CDTC members Suzanne
Ferrio and Regina DeAngelo help Tim sort gifts into gift bags 
Charlestown residents Tim and Bev Quillen have a dream that someday all children have happy homes with loving parents. That they’ll sit before the fireplace on Christmas morning opening presents and drinking cocoa. 

Those of you who know Tim will also know that he had a similar dream about happy dogs romping and playing in a dog park in Charlestown and he helped to make that one come true… but that’s another story.

Unfortunately, the wish for a merry Christmas for all kids is more difficult to achieve. But Tim and Bev started working on this 11 years ago when Bev was a high school teacher and her students formed a service club. She reached out to the state Department of Children, Youth, and Families who places children into group homes or foster care when they are abused, neglected, or unwanted.

Over the years they have organized an effort which has provided thousands of toys, dolls, craft supplies, warm coats, and other clothing to children in South County from infants to age 18 who would otherwise have  little or nothing on Christmas morning. 

The children make a list of requests such as Carmen, age 5 ½ , loves pink, needs a winter coat and clothes, size 7/8, or Jessie, age two months, who needs clothes, musical toys and stuffed animals.

There are 20 children on the list, but Tim and his Santa’s helpers hope to meet their needs and then take on some more names. 

The need is endless. There are also 17 and 18 year olds, some of them single mothers, who, out of necessity. must set themselves up in their first apartment. They need the most basic household things. Gift cards for food from Stop & Shop or Shaw’s are more important than ever because of cutbacks in the food stamp program.

This is the CDTC's second year of partnering with Operators Local 57
to bring some Christmas joy to kids who otherwise would have nothing
These annual efforts are a joint program of Tim’s union, the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 57, the Charlestown Democratic Town Committee, and a diverse group of friends and neighbors in South County.

If you’d like to help put a smile on the face of a child this Christmas please call Cathy Collette at 315-0535, or Tim Quillen at 626-2209 by December 14th. They can let you know what specific things are needed (everything must remain unwrapped and will be put in gift bags for each child), and arrange for pick up.