Trying to save Christmas



With gas prices at more than $3 per gallon, rents and utility bills rising and Christmas less than three weeks away, Kitsap Community Resources is committed to giving at least 3,200 low-income children something under the tree.

However, with donations and sponsorships at near all-time lows, a mountain of help is needed between now and Dec. 12 when KCR’s Santa Shoppe opens, said KCR holiday coordinator Kandi Balandran.

“We have 2,700 kids right now and we are still shopping ourselves for another 500 we have,” Balandran said.

Parents of the children who are signed up for the program will be able to pick up their gifts on Dec. 12, Dec. 13, Dec. 17 and Dec. 19, but unless the program receives a healthy dose of holiday generosity, some families might be left wanting on Christmas Day, she said.

“Clothes and shoes are what we’re short on, everything from newborns to teens,” she said.

In previous years, the estimated cost of sponsoring a child was about $50, but with the seemingly endless growing expense of everything, Balandran said it is probably closer to $75.

“We ask that at least three new gifts are provided,” she said. “Some kids ask for a little, and some kids ask for a lot.”

Although it is great when sponsors are able to donate everything on a child’s wish list, Balandran said each gift, no matter how big or small, is much appreciated.

Since each year is different, Balandran said she can’t point to any particular reason why donations have been less than in years past, but she remains optimistic about meeting this year’s needs.

“If you’d like to help, please call me so we can give these kids a Christmas,” she said.

Donations can be dropped off at the KCR Christmas Angel Center located at 1201 Park Ave. in Bremerton or those wanting to make cash donations can drop them off or send them to KCR’s administrative offices at 802 7th St., Bremerton, WA 98337.

For information on how to donate or help, call Balandran at (360) 473-2032.

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