NORTH READING — For the 32nd consecutive year, the Transcript is sponsoring its annual Christmas appeal, the Neighbor Helping Neighbor Fund (NHNF).

One hundred percent of all donations received are provided to the town’s all-volunteer organization, Christian Community Service (CCS).

Most well known for creating and operating the North Reading Food Pantry,, this locally grown nonprofit organization provides more than just groceries and household staples to over 100 households in town. A core part of its mission is providing assistance to local residents for emergency financial support. When combined with the resources provided by the food pantry, they help clients get through hard times, and hopefully rise above them as well.

Providing holiday dinners at both Thanksgiving and Christmas is also a key part of their mission. Holiday gift baskets of food are provided to families who use the food pantry. CCS volunteers also partner with the Horseshoe Grille each year to make and deliver hot Thanksgiving meals to shut-ins on the holiday.

For elves who like to find the perfect gift to give a child in need, the CCS Take-a-Tag program ensures that the children of CCS clients receive Christmas gifts from their wish list as well as warm clothing and other essentials. One such Take-a-Tag tree is located in the lobby of the Post Office at 174 Park St. The concept is simple: purchase the item described on the tag for a boy or girl and return the tag attached to the gift. CCS volunteers will ensure that Santa delivers it to the right child.

The CCS Food Pantry has grown significantly since it was moved to its new home in “the annex” at 150 Haverhill St. on the grounds of the Union Congregational Church

All services provided to community members by CCS are offered on the basis of financial need, not religious affiliation, in any.

We count on reader support

For more than three decades, the readers of the Transcript have ensured the success of CCS through financial support and we are hopeful that this generous spirit will continue.

We are nearly into our second anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic and with inflation on the rise in all sectors, tumultuous times are going away anytime soon which means many more families will continue to rely upon the food pantry to make ends meet.

We remain proud of the partnership we’ve fostered with CCS over the years and are grateful to the generous readers of this newspaper who have supported the Neighbor Helping Neighbor Fund for the past three-plus decades. We hope we can count on your continued support.

How to donate

As always, the Transcript will acknowledge each donation received in print and pass all donations on to CCS. All donations are tax deductible as allowed by law as CCS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Those who donate $250 or more will be automatically mailed a tax receipt. CCS will provide receipts upon request for donations under $250 if the donor provides a name and address.

If you wish to remain anonymous, or dedicate your donation to a loved one, please include a note with your check.

Please make checks payable to “Christian Community Service” or “CCS,” not to the newspaper. Checks may be mailed to the North Reading Transcript “NHNF” at 26 Albion St., Wakefield, MA 01880.

You may also drop donations off in person at our office at the above address in downtown Wakefield (a night drop box is located opposite the front door for contactless donations).

Those who wish to drop off their donation in person may do so at the North Reading branch of the Reading Cooperative Bank, 170 Park St. (next to Ryer’s Store). Please specify to the bank teller your intention to donate to the Transcript’s “Neighbor Helping Neighbor Fund” to ensure it is recorded on the tally sheet as you would like it to appear in print. The bank forwards these sheets to us for acknowledgement in the newspaper.