QUINCY -- Christmas morning is more than 70 days away and local Christmas elves are once again eager to make the magic of Christmas morning a possibility for 50 families through the Good News of Christmas program. The annual community service program is organized and sponsored each year by The Herald-Whig and the United Way of Adams County.
"We already have had one group call in to volunteer to be a shopper," said Herald-Whig Marketing Manager Nathan Halfpap, who is serving as the coordinator of this year's event. Those interested in signing up as volunteers are asked to call Halfpap at 217-221-3306 or to contact the United Way at 217-222-5020. Those wishing to make a monetary donation to this year's campaign can be sent to The Herald-Whig, Attn. Nathan Halfpap, 130 S. Fifth St., Quincy, IL, 62301.
"We'd love to get as many people in the community involved as possible," Halfpap said. There will also be a Good News of Christmas Volunteer Center, which will open Dec. 2. The volunteer center will have daily hours of operation, including Monday through Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday the center will open from 1 to 5 p.m.
The Good News of Christmas campaign dates back to 1988 and according to Halfpap has become a cherished tradition in the Quincy community and surrounding area. More than $1.75 million, along with countless volunteer hours and services, has been donated to help more than 1,500 families get back on their feet since the campaign's inception.
"The goal of Good News of Christmas is to once again have civic groups, individuals, businesses, church groups, or really anyone interested to help donate money, to volunteer to purchase gifts, or wrap gifts that will then be given to local families who would struggle to provide their children with a joyous, memorable Christmas otherwise," Halfpap said. The families for this year's campaign have already been selected and beginning in November the Herald-Whig will begin publishing a series of stories highlighting each of the families involved in this year's campaign.
Families throughout The Herald-Whig's circulation area in Illinois and Missouri are selected each year to receive aid by caseworkers familiar with their plights.
A list of the families, which will not include the names of the families, will be released at a later date.