Christmas For Kids gets $4,000 from Bikers For Kids
Receiving toy donation from casino work $15,000
ARENAC COUNTY — The Arenac County Christmas For Kids charity received a $4,000 check from Bikers For Kids Nov. 27, providing some much-needed assistance to a program that looked like it would fall short.
Christmas For Kids uses donated funds and gifts to provide Christmas presents for county children in need. However, if the group does not have as much money to work with, it has to limit the amount it can spend per child.
“Before that donation, we were really short on funds,” Deb Schoenborn, chairwoman of Christmas For Kids, said. “It looked like we were only able to do $10 per kid before that.”
Schoenborn said the organization was likely going to have to use all of its leftover toys from previous years as well, which are held to give out at a future date.
According to Bikers For Kids member Carla Reeves, the group raised the money for Arenac County and the other counties the group covers — Ogemaw, Gladwin, Roscommon, Iosco and northern Bay — through several fundraisers. It held a fundraiser at the Camp Bar & Restaurant in Gladwin in November.
Schoenborn said the good news kept coming for Christmas For Kids, as she was told by Bonnie Sawyer with the Saganing Eagles Landing Casino that it had raised $15,000 worth of toys it could donate to the organization.
“These are $25 toys according to her,” Schoenborn said. “I thought we would have to do only $10 per child, and that we’d have to go through our storage.”
“They have two more weeks for their program, until Dec. 8,” she added. “We may have to find another organization that needs some toys, or have them stored until next year.”
As of Nov. 29, about 239 families with 500 children have applied for help with Christmas For Kids, Schoenborn said. She said that was a drop in the number of children from last year, when it helped nearly 700 kids, and Schoenborn was unsure why there was such a steep drop.
The charity is still seeking donations, however, with toy drop-off points throughout the county. Schoenborn said they are located in the same businesses and locations as last year, with the addition of Carquest in Standish. She said games and Legos are two high-demand types of items, but they will take all kinds of donations.
Schoenborn also said people interested in volunteering either throughout the year or with packaging gifts could contact her at 989-654-2458. The packing dates are set for Dec. 12-14 at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Standish, she said, with a delivery date of Dec. 15.
Christmas For Kids is finished fundraising for the year, but Schoenborn said the group is already planning for next year with a dinner and auction in the spring.