NORTH READING — The Christmas spirit continues to shine in town with donations arriving for the Transcript’s Neighbor Helping Neighbor Fund during this past week that have pushed the fund’s total to an incredible $31,815.

This was made possible in large part due to a most generous donation of $5,000 from the members of the International Family Church at 99 Concord Street, plus an additional $450 donation given in memory of the Transcript’s founders, Al and Frances Sylvia, and several other donations totaling $6,450.

We are entering the final week of the Transcript’s 32nd annual drive to benefit Christian Community Service (CCS), the 501(c)(3) all-volunteer organization that runs the town’s Food Pantry and provides a variety of year-round financial assistance to approximately 100 families and individuals in town, helping them make ends meet and remain in their homes. The 2021 drive will officially end next Thursday, January 6, on Little Christmas, also known as Epiphany.

Last chance to do something nice, twice

Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve and it’s also the last day to purchase holiday gift cards from the Horseshoe Grille, 226 Main St., while also benefiting the Transcript’s Neighbor Helping Neighbor Fund by doing something nice, twice. Originated by former owners Pat and Kathi Lee, it is being continued by the new owners, Brad Atkinson, Ryan Cox and Noah Goldstein.

Patrons who purchase $100 in gift cards to the Horseshoe are eligible to receive a $20 gift certificate for themselves to use at the restaurant. Upon request, the customer can choose to donate this gift to CCS and the restaurant will also match the $20 face value of the give-back certificate to the NHNF for CCS. At the conclusion of their holiday gift card sales, the Horseshoe will write a check representing the funds raised. The Transcript will acknowledge the total donation from the challenge when we conclude the fund drive.

It’s easy to donate!

It’s easy to donate to the Neighbor Helping Neighbor Fund. As promised, the Transcript will acknowledge each donation received in print and pass them on to CCS. All donations are tax deductible 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.

Donors are welcome to dedicate their donations to a loved one; simply include a note with your check. If you wish to remain anonymous please let us know.

Make checks payable to CCS

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 closer to home may also 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.

Transcript 2021 NHNF donor list, week 5:

• International Family Church of North Reading— $5,000

• From Al Sylvia Jr. in memory of Al and Fran Sylvia— $450

• Anonymous Santa— $200

• From Don & Doris Henchey— $100

• From Donald and Ann Marie Kelliher— $100

• From Christine and J.A. Woodroffe— $100

• From Jeffrey & Joan LeGrow— $100

• From The Coffee Ladies— $100

• In memory of our moms, Lydia & Dottie— $100

• From Kathleen & John Tobin— $100

• In memory of John & Alice Coughlin— $50

• From Michael & Barbara Celata— $50

Week 5 subtotal: $6,450

Previously acknowledged: $25,365

New total: $31,815