Rowan County residents raised a fork for a better cause at the second Rowan County Christmas spaghetti dinner on September 12.
RCC raises money to help provide gifts for low-income families in the county to keep the magic of Christmas alive for the children. Gifts are distributed on the second Friday of December to families who are accepted into the program after going through an application process.
“It’s a wonderful, wonderful day. There have been children that have received gifts that later, as they grew up, were so, so grateful,” said Becky Hitchcock, treasurer of the Rowan County Christmas board. “For some, it’s the only gift that they receive for Christmas.”
This sentiment is also true for Tonya LeMaster, who is not only the chair of RCC, but one of the first recipients of the program after independent efforts from several churches and organizations came together to form one blanket organization.
“My favorite part of the organization is the kids, obviously. Especially whenever a parent comes in and they really express how much it helps them. It really affects me. It gives me a blessing. It’s a blessing to give,” said LeMaster.
On average, RCC aids 300 to 500 families but has seen up to 900 families per year that are in need since their start in 1993. With aid from the county, city and individuals, and a large donation of toys from Morehead State University, the program has been able to give each child $40 worth of gifts.
The organization’s priority is kids but it also provides gifts for seniors, family food vouchers, then services for individuals. The organization spends $10,000 to $50,000 within eight hours to provide each child with gifts and two books.
“If we have the funds available, and so far the community has been very generous, we also give out food vouchers. The amount of food vouchers depends on the number of family members,” said Hitchcock.
Rowan County Christmas is in desperate need for volunteers. Anyone interested can apply at rowancountychristmas.org.
Families in need for help can apply at Christian Social Services from October 1 through November 15 with proof of residency, ID and income.