Published November 21, 2018


NORTH READING — As incredible as it seems, the Transcript is launching its 29th annual Neighbor Helping Neighbor Christmas appeal this week in support of the year-round good works of Christian Community Service (CCS).

Thanks to the immense generosity of the readers of this newspaper, all of the funds donated to the Neighbor Helping Neighbor Fund directly benefit residents of North Reading who have fallen on hard times.

In addition to running the town’s Food Pantry year-round, which serves between 110 clients per month, the volunteers at the non-profit CCS have been busy providing Thanksgiving food baskets to dozens of local families in town and they’ll be delivering hot meals on Thanksgiving Day to over 20 shut-ins.

After Thanksgiving, the volunteers begin focusing on helping to make the Christmas holiday more joyous for local youngsters in need with gifts of warm clothes and a few special gifts. Hundreds of donations are provided to them through the Take-a-Tag program which matches an item from a child’s wish list to a take on a tree available at the Post Office on Park Street.

According to CCS volunteer Beth Adams they also have many local businesses who take tags for their employees, such as Amazon, which will take 200 of the 800 tags this year.  “The post office gets about 100, the North Reading schools take about 200, and the other 500 are disbursed among the local businesses and local churches,” Adams said.

Horseshoe give-back

Horseshoe Grille proprietors Pat and Kathi Lee, and there patrons are an example of another local business that gives back generously to CCS. Once again this year they are offering patrons a chance to give back to the Transcript’s Neighbor Helping Neighbor Fund. During the Christmas season, for every $100 spent on gift cards to the restaurant the Horseshoe offers a $20 voucher back to the purchaser. Simply let the clerk know that you’d prefer to apply the $20 face value of Horseshoe Grille voucher to be donated to the Transcript’s Neighbor Helping Neighbor Christmas fund. At the end of the holiday season the Lees will write a check to CCS representing the funds donated by their patrons through this incentive.


CCS provides essential services and emergency aid to help families and individuals throughout the year, all of which is made possible by donations from our readers. CCS is non-denominational and provides assistance to all clients without regard to one’s religious affiliation, if any.

Donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. CCS automatically provides receipts to those who donate $250 or more. Tax receipt for donations of any amount will be provided upon request by the donor.

The Transcript will acknowledge all donations in the newspaper each week. Checks should be made payable to “Christian Community Service” or “CCS,” not to the newspaper. They may be mailed to the Transcript at P.O. Box 7, North Reading, MA 01864.

Those who wish to drop of their donations in person may do so at the North Reading branch of the Reading Cooperative Bank, 170 Park St. (next to Ryer’s Store).

We look forward to working together to make the 2018 Neighbor Fund drive the most successful it has ever been.