Published in the December 3, 2015 edition


NORTH READING — Even in a middle class town like North Reading, there are always needy families among us whose needs are all too often invisible to the rest of us – something we only notice because of the efforts of the North Reading Food Pantry or the demands on the resources of the town’s Christian Community Service at this time of year.

Helping the CCS meet the needs of those among us who struggle to make ends meet is the reason the Transcript’s Neighbor Helping Neighbor Fund was established 26 years ago and every year the residents of town and the readers of this newspaper respond generously to help the CCS aid local townspeople with goods, services and emergency help not just at Christmas but throughout the year.

It’s already obvious that 2015 will be no exception, as the first donations have already been received for this year’s Neighbor Helping Neighbor Fund, announced just a week ago.

The CCS runs the town’s Food Pantry, which serves over 500 people who need the pantry’s services to get by. This number includes adults, seniors, and sadly, children.

Inconvenient truths like this are why the Transcript’s Neighbor Fund remains important. The generous readers of this newspaper have demonstrated year after year that they understand that some of their fellow residents struggle every day. The CCS itself is made up of volunteers from all of the town’s churches and all of the money goes directly to CCS to benefit our local residents.

The CCS is a non–denominational, non–profit organization. Donations are tax deductible and a tax receipt will be furnished to anyone who requests one. Receipts are automatically mailed for donations of $250 or more.

Horseshoe Grille special offer

New this year, residents who buy a gift card to the Horseshoe Grille have a chance to help the CCS/Neighbor Fund. When purchasing a $100 Horseshoe gift card, customers will receive a $20 gift card in return, which they will be given the option of pledging back to the Christian Community Service and the Neighbor Helping Neighbor Fund. This offer applies to $100 gift cards purchased between Black Friday and Christmas Eve and at the end of that period, Horseshoe owner Pat Lee will write a check to CCS/Neighbor Helping Neighbor Fund reflecting the value of the pledged cards.

Donations accepted at Reading Co–operative Bank

All donations will be acknowledged in the Transcript. Donations may be mailed to the Transcript at P.O. Box 7, North Reading MA 01864. For those who prefer to drop off a check in person, donations may be left at the Reading Co–operative Bank, 170 Park St.

Checks should be made payable to the Christian Community Service or “CCS,” not the newspaper.

The Transcript is happy to report the first donations received this week:

• Roy & Christina Walters……………………………$100

• Nancy & Peter Zawistowski………………………$100

Total as of Dec. 1………………………………………$200