The holiday season unofficially gets under way next week as families sit down for Thanksgiving dinner.
What will follow will be about four weeks of crowded stores as people shop for all kinds of gifts to place under the tree on Christmas Eve.
Not everyone, though, is able to afford gifts for loved ones or a Christmas meal. That’s where you come in.
For 58 years, Northeast residents have been taking care of their own by contributing to a fund established by the Times to make sure families have a holiday dinner and children have a present on Christmas morning.
The Eleanor Smylie Community Fund matches those who could use help at Christmas time with neighbors who have a few extra dollars to spare.
Already this year, the newspaper has received numerous requests for help from people.
Among them are a disabled Tacony woman taking care of her four grandchildren; a Far Northeast woman overcoming being a victim of a violent crime and trying to pay tuition for her two daughters in Catholic school; a 90-year-old Mayfair man and U.S. Army veteran who doesn’t get around so well anymore; a Port Richmond woman who eats only toast and drinks hot tea to be able to take care of her grandson; and a Castor Gardens woman struggling after the loss of her husband and job.
Besides receiving these heartbreaking letters, we are getting generous contributions from readers to be able to help the less fortunate. We gratefully accept each donation, small or large. The money goes toward gift cards for the needy.
The Times will print your name and donation in the paper, or we will honor your request to remain anonymous.
If you’d like to donate, or if you’d like to make a request for help, write to Eleanor Smylie Community Fund, 2512 Metropolitan Drive, Trevose, PA 19053.
Or, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are asking for help for yourself or if you know of someone who needs assistance, please include the name and contact number of an agency or friend who can verify the information.
Here are some of the early contributors to this year’s fund:
ull; Mary Lou Begley $10
ull; Jacquelynn Diaz $25
ull; An anonymous donor $40
ull; Jane Lambing $25
ull; Bella Pringz $100
ull; In memory of Sissy $100
ull; Mary Jane Marrow $20
ull; In memory of Margaret Evans-Tarpinian $25
ull; An anonymous donor $50
ull; In memory of Walter and Jane Montgomery and Morris and Reba Pearlstein $100
ull; Amanda Fox $20
ull; Sharon Bradshaw $25
ull; Steve and Sylvia Mayover $50
ull; Shirley Quirus $25
ull; In memory of Ethel and the Hardings $25
ull; Janice Kolling $20
ull; Oxford Beverage $1,000
ull; Joseph Tomaino $25
ull; Pauline Broyaka $23 ••