MOREHEAD CITY — Just beginning its third week of accepting applications, Project Christmas Cheer organizers say they have already seen a significant increase in those applying for Christmas assistance compared to last year.
PCC co-coordinator Jeanne Ellegate said Nov. 18, “At this time, our numbers of angels and senior citizens are higher than last year as we see a growing number of those in need,” she said. “PCC wants you to know that we are here to help.”
As of Nov. 18, there were already 243 angels representing children in need of Christmas gifts and 102 senior citizens in need of help. This compares to 167 angels and 55 seniors at the same time last year.
Applications began being taken Nov. 7 and will continue through Friday, Dec. 9 at First United Methodist Church in Morehead City. Applications are being accepted 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Spanish translators are available on Mondays during the application period. Applications will not be taken on Friday, Nov. 25.
Project Christmas Cheer is a not-for-profit organization that provides Christmas assistance to needy county children, ages birth to 18, and adults 65 years of age and older. Eligibility for assistance is based on Carteret County Department of Social Services guidelines.
Through the program, children receive gifts by people adopting their names from Angel Trees, which are set up at two county locations. Angels are now available at the Sports Center in Morehead City and will be available at One Harbor Church in Morehead City on Sundays beginning Nov. 27.
New this year is the Sports Center is also hosting a senior citizens’ adoption tree.
County seniors 65 and older can apply at PCC. All qualifying seniors will also receive a gift card from PCC.
Angels are available at the Sports Center, 701 N. 35th St., Morehead City until all angels are adopted. Hours to adopt are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and 1 to 6 p.m. on Sundays.
An Angel Tree for children only will be available at One Harbor Church, 1605 Fisher St., on Sundays beginning Nov. 27, continuing through Dec. 18. Hours will be 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each Sunday.
Ellegate encouraged those needing assistance to apply and also encouraged residents to adopt angels.
Last year, PCC provided Christmas gifts for 557 children, with gift cards provided to 129 seniors and 381 adults ages 19-64. This year, however, PCC will not provide gift cards for adults 19-64.
Those applying for PCC assistance will need to bring the following:
A driver’s license or photo ID.
If available, Social Security cards for everyone in the house.
A contact telephone number.
Proof of income for all family members working outside the home (pay stub, bank statement or letter from employer).
Proof of rent (copy of lease or other proof of payment).
If receiving food stamps, provide copy of DSS 8551 form, EBT card and food stamp amount.
School name and grade of each child in the household.
Clothing sizes for children and their Christmas needs.
As the applications are processed and approved, the names and “wish lists” are distributed to the Angel Tree locations.
Individuals, organizations and businesses wishing to support Project Christmas Cheer by donations or by adopting children or seniors can contact PCC at 252-247-7275, email@example.com or Project Christmas Cheer, P.O. Box 1914, Morehead City, NC 28557.
Information is available on the Project Christmas Cheer website at projectchristmascheer.com.
Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email Cheryl@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.