OXFORD — The Christmas fundraising season has begun for Rightstart, the all-volunteer nonprofit behind Christmas for Kids, Christmas for Teens and The Coat Room.
This year, the need may be higher than ever as the traditional Christmas for Teens concert isn't happening. Rightstart secretary and Christmas for Teens organizer Jean Delamater said the volunteers who usually perform have retired.
“The teens' portion will definitely be needing to raise more funds,” Rightstart President Connie Allen said.
Christmas for Kids and Christmas for Teens provide new toys and clothing to area youths whose families can't afford to buy them Christmas presents or are experiencing a crisis. The group takes detailed wish lists. Donors can donate money and items to the group or can contact Rightstart to provide specific wish list items.
Donations come in annually from local businesses and Community Concepts. On Friday, Jonathan Whitney of JW Publishing presented the group with a $500 check from ad sales in the Oxford Hills magazine, the official publication of the Oxford Hills Chamber of Commerce. Whitney said the donation came from the advertisers, who were told a portion of their money would go to the program.
The Oxford Hills Chamber of Commerce will also be collecting donations at its main office on Western Avenue in Paris and at its annual Festival of Trees.
Rightstart will be making appeals to potential donors in the coming weeks, Delamater said. Anyone interested in donating to Rightstart can send donations to P.O. Box 726, Norway, ME 04268.
To inquire about specific needs for Christmas for Kids, contact Connie Allen at 743-5728. For Christmas for Teens, call Jean Delamater at 539-4587. For The Coat Room, contact Wendy Williams at 527-2351.