Published in the November 23, 2016 edition


NORTH READING — North Reading is fortunate to have an organization like the Christian Community Service, a completely local, non–profit organization dedicated to helping North Reading residents with food donations, goods, services and emergency help not just at Christmas time but throughout the year. The CCS operates the North Reading Food Pantry, which serves 100–120 clients per month on a regular basis. Located in town hall, the Food Pantry is open Mondays from 9 to 10 a.m. and on the first and third Monday evenings of the month.

If you happen by the building during these hours of operation, you cannot help but notice the number of cars in the parking lot indicating the many clients who live in our community, who need to take advantage of the Food Pantry services.

The economy has improved greatly since the Great Recession of 2008 but the new normal seems to be that some of our fellow North Reading residents still need our assistance, not just during the holidays but throughout the year. The community’s need for CCS services is here to stay.

That’s why the Transcript is proud, for the 27th consecutive year, to renew its annual appeal to the community for donations to the Neighbor Helping Neighbor Fund to aid needy families here in North Reading after the Christmas trees come down and the holiday lights and tinsel fade from memory.

The annual appeal to readers of this newspaper has become an important part of CCS’ efforts to benefit needy families in North Reading 12 months a year. Last year, Transcript readers donated an incredibly generous $38,000 to the Neighbor Fund. All of that money stayed in North Reading to help our needy friends and neighbors and all of it is administered by the CCS, which this year had a total overhead of $558, according to Chairperson Ellen Wiklanski, including the costs for a phone line and post office box.

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.

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 donation in person, donations may be left at the Reading Cooperative Bank, 170 Park St. in North Reading Center.

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

Help make the 2016 Neighbor Helping Neighbor Fund drive the most successful ever.