NORTH READING — Now entering its 33rd consecutive year, the North Reading Transcript is once again sponsoring its annual Christmas appeal, the Neighbor Helping Neighbor Fund (NHNF).

As always 100 percent of all donations received to the NHNF are provided to the town’s all-volunteer nonprofit organization, Christian Community Service (CCS), which is most well known for creating and operating the town’s Food Pantry. This resource is well stocked year round through the generosity of this community. In addition to providing food staples to families and individuals in need, a core part of CCS’s mission is providing assistance to those town residents who find themselves in need of emergency financial support.

This is where the funds donated by Transcript readers do the most good. These funds help clients keep the lights on or fill the tank with home heating oil, which not only keeps our neighbors warm but also helps to prevent their pipes from freezing and avoid an expensive household repair in the future.

Volunteers at CCS assess the needs of individuals and families, in confidence, and if approved, would pay the utility directly, for example. Other clients may need help with paying their rent or repairing a vehicle to enable them to continue working. CCS also requires anyone seeking emergency funds to utilize the Food Pantry too; which helps them stretch their budgets to pay those other bills.

“We have about 100 clients in the database and during the year we serve 67 to 78 families on a regular basis in any one month,” explains CCS Co-Chair Teresa Sanphy.

“This equates to between 150-161 clients, and we distribute anywhere from 1,200-1,500 bags of groceries per month. As of recent months, the client counts have been climbing due to inflation, increased grocery prices, increased utilities, and I’m sure this will continue depending on the winter weather,” added Sanphy.

This is an incredible accomplishment and it is only possible due to the generosity of folks like our readers for the past three decades. We are hopeful that we can continue to count on our reader support even during these tough economic times when everyone is feeling the pinch of inflation in every sector.

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

Do Something Nice Twice continues

As in past years, the Horseshoe Grille will continue its affiliation with the Neighbor Helping Neighbor Fund through its “do something nice twice” campaign. Those patrons who purchase $50 in gift cards will receive a $10 coupon for their use at the restaurant; however, if they choose to donate their $10 coupon back to the NHNF, the Horseshoe will match the donation to the NHNF too.

How to donate

As always, the Transcript will acknowledge each donation received in print and pass all donations to CCS. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law, as CCS is a 501c3 non-profit. Donations of $250 or more automatically receive a receipt in the mail. Upon request, a receipt will be sent to those giving less than $250. The donor must provide a valid name and address for the receipt to be mailed.

If you wish to remain anonymous please indicate that fact in the memo area of your check.

You may also make donations in honor the memory of friends or loved ones.

Please make all checks payable to “CCS,” not the newspaper!

Checks may be mailed to: North Reading Transcript “NHNF,” 26 Albion St., Wakefield MA 01880. You may also drop them off in person to our office from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mon-Thu or 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., on Fridays. Or use the night drop box slot opposite the door facing Albion Street after hours.

Checks may also be dropped off in person to the Reading Coop Bank, 170 Park St. (next to Ryer’s). You must specify to the bank teller your intention to make a donation to the Transcript’s NHNF to ensure it is recorded on the daily tally sheet that is sent to us to acknowledge in the newspaper.