MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The Christmas season got underway with the first donation and a starter check from City National Bank to benefit Christmas Cash for Kids Friday.
Now in its 18th year, Christmas Cash for Kids makes Christmas a little brighter for kids in Berkeley, Morgan and Jefferson Counties each year, with a lot of support from the community.
Friday’s first in-person donation was $20, and City National bank presented a check for $1,000.00. The kickoff event took place at the Martinsburg branch. CNB has supported the effort since the beginning, according to Becky Linton, who retired from CNB but now works as their Community Outreach Coordinator.
Linton said Christmas Cash for Kids got started late one year when the DHHR realized some area kids weren’t going to get toys at Christmas.
Last year, more than 800 children in the three counties, from babies to teenagers, got presents through the program. Linton says the need is great:
She says they will count on donations, big and small this time of year to reach that $40,000 goal.
The West Virginia DHHR vets families who will receive the gifts, with an emphasis on kids being cared for by grandparents. Family members help shop for the items with a DHHR case manager at area Wal-Mart stores.
Donation sites are all over the Eastern Panhandle at CNB Banks and Rocs stores. Donate online here. Donors can also text a donation this year by texting the word Kids23 to 41444.
Linton says for her, it’s a labor of love:
She says the community always comes together:
Donations are being accepted through the middle of December. Linton says folks can donate a new unwrapped toy as well at any City National Bank branch in the Panhandle.
The United Way of the Eastern Panhandle is a long-time partner for the project. CEO Penny Porter says they are donating books to be presented to each recipient this year.
WVRC Media’s cluster of radio stations in the Eastern Panhandle have supported Christmas Cash for Kids since the beginning.
The official Christmas Cash For Kids Kickoff Release:
The United Way of the Eastern Panhandle and the Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) are teaming up again with City National Bank and WVRC Media to raise funds for the Christmas Cash for Kids program. The 2023 Christmas Cash For Kids campaign begins Friday, Nov. 3, 2023 with a goal of raising $40,000 by the middle of December to buy gifts for less fortunate children in the Eastern Panhandle. With the recurring theme of “Every Penny Counts”, the campaign goal is to educate the community about how a “little change” from everyone can make a big difference for many. Today, City National Bank made a seed donation of $1000.00 to kick off the campaign.
Christmas Cash for Kids is entering its 18th Christmas season of assisting families in making Christmas a reality for their children. The program is supported entirely by donations and local volunteers. Christmas Cash for Kids was founded in December 2006 when the local information and Referral Center at DHHR received numerous phone calls several days before Christmas asking where they could obtain Christmas assistance for their children. These families did not have a need when other community organizations took Christmas applications in September and October. However, massive layoffs or reductions in number of hours worked, created a crisis situation for many families where there was a real possibility their children would have no Christmas. That is when the idea for Christmas Cash for Kids was birthed. In the past few years, Christmas Cash for Kids has served a large amount of families affected by the area’s opioid crisis, which leaves many children to be cared for by grandparents or other family members who do not have the disposable income to provide Christmas.
Christmas Cash for Kids serves children from birth to students age 17 (if still in school), providing Christmas gifts for their guardians to give them on Christmas day. On a designated day in December, the guardians will be invited to “shop” with an assigned DHHR Case Manager at area Wal-Mart stores to find age-appropriate gift items for each family. The Christmas Cash for Kids program serves Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan county, but all monies raised in each county will stay within families residing there.
The main objective of the Christmas Cash for Kids program is to provide Christmas gifts to children who otherwise may not receive anything for Christmas. From now through the mid -December, donations will be collected all over Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan Ccounties in various ways at local businesses, churches and with individuals. Together, our community is joining forces to save as much “change” as we can, in order to make as much “change” as we can by providing gifts to kids at Christmas.
Those interested in participating can visit the United Way of Eastern Panhandle’s website (www.uwayep.org/ ) to make online donations, or stop by any of the area ROCS Local Market stores or any of the City National Bank branch locations. There are multiple special events scheduled to collect coins and cash for the program throughout the next 30 days. One of the events is hosted by Main Street Martinsburg called “Jingle Downtown” will be held December 4 and features a fun evening of shopping and mingling while helping a greater cause. Other fund raising events for Christmas Cash for Kids include multiple boot drives in several locations, spirit nights and the annual coin drive at Airborne Church.
November 3 | LIVE Remote Kick Off
City National Bank, King Street office
November 18 | Boot Drive
at Olive Garden, Martinsburg, with City National staff
December 3 | Coin Drive
at Airborne Church, Martinsburg
December 4 | Jingle Downtown
with Main Street Martinsburg
December 4 | Spirit Day
at Angelo’s Brick Oven Pizza Martinsburg
December 8 | Pictures With Santa
at Potomac Marketplace Ranson, donations for pics
Christmas Cash for Kids is initiative of City National Bank and WVRC Media in collaboration with the United Way of the Eastern Panhandle and the local Department of Health and Human Resources.
For More Information:
Becky Linton 304-676-4993
Mary Beth Blair, 304.283-4438
On Facebook: “Christmas Cash for Kids”