Annual Christmas Basket program benefits 1,300 children

This year’s Christmas Basket program was a fantastic success, raising more than $18,000 for children of low-income families

The Christmas Basket is an annual seasonal program that provides gift cards and presents for low-income families, helping to ensure that every CITC family has access to a brighter, happier holiday. In conjunction with the program, CITC also offers a Family Holiday Celebration open to all CITC participants and their children. The day features games, crafts, dancing and drumming, refreshments, and photos with Santa.

More than 1300 children from low-income families benefited from the Christmas Basket program.

More than 1300 children from low-income families benefited from the Christmas Basket program.

“The funding for the Christmas Basket program is almost all through community donations — and a large part of that is our CITC staff,” said Kelly Hurd, CITC’s senior director of development. “It’s truly a program where our staff can give back to the people we serve. It allows CITC to show how much we appreciate our participants.”

This year, CITC employees raised $8,400; combined with donations from community and corporate partners, including CIRI, the effort resulted in more than $18,000 to support the Christmas Basket program. Funds were used to buy $25 gift cards, one of which was distributed to each child in qualifying families. With the cards, families often purchase gifts for their children, items needed by the entire household, or food for a holiday meal.

Donations from the K.I.D.S. program also provided toys for low-income children.

Donations from the K.I.D.S. program also provided toys for low-income children.

Thanks to donations made through the Kids in Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.) program, parents were also able to choose one toy for each of their children to unwrap on Christmas morning. More than 400 people also attended this year’s Family Holiday Celebration.

“It was looking like it was going to be a hard Christmas for us this year,” remarked one participant on the day of the gift card and toy pickup. “I’m just incredibly thankful for this program and what it’s doing for us right now.”

Thank you to everyone who donated to or volunteered for the Christmas Basket program and Family Holiday Celebration! Neither event could happen without those who generously donate their money or their time to make sure our participants have a joyous holiday.

CITC participants were also invited to a Family Holiday Celebration.

CITC participants were also invited to a Family Holiday Celebration.