Local outreach organization affected by the pandemic

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Onslow community outreach says it needs help with donations for its annual Onslow Christmas Cheer donation drive.

Onslow Christmas cheer was started in the earlies 1970s to provide toys, food, and other resources to children from birth to age 12 and their families in need.

Directors with the organization say they help 2,500 children a year on average, and 5,000 people in total. Directors predict to have more families in need this year due to financial challenges from COVID-19.

“The pandemic has affected so many people some of these kids are at home still homeschooling they got COVID themselves parents got covered so they couldn’t go to work we’ve had so many people that have lost family members, children that have lost a parent,” said Onslow Christmas Cheer assistant director Ingrid Littlejohn.

Onslow Community Outreach recently purchased a building they will use this year for the donation drive.

“Every year for the last 20 years we had to find a place for Christmas cheer,” said Littlejohn in reference to community members having to donate building space for the donation drive in years past.

Families in need will be able to walk through the building this year with a designated assistant once renovations are finished to receive food items and toys for Christmas.

“We always love cash. We also look for sponsors for families if you have a need or a want to sponsor a family you can do that as well we really want to help those families those that have had lots of hardships this year we want to make Christmas extra special for them,” said Littlejohn.

Donations will be accepted at the Christmas Cheer Center located o 1210 Hargett St. in Jacksonville. Donors Can adopt a family in need to provide items tailored to the needs of specific families.

Donors can buy toys online and have them delivered to the Christmas Cheer Center. Those in need can apply from 10am-3pm, November 30-December 2. Donations will also be accepted on the Onslow Community Outreach website.

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