The holiday shopping season is underway.
Greenwood Park Mall and major stores were packed for Black Friday sales and likely will be busy every day for nearly the next month and packed to nearly overflowing on the weekends as shoppers scramble for the right, or at least almost-right, gift.
Amid all this holiday hoopla and marketing mania, take a few seconds to help some of Johnson County’s less fortunate families. Three annual charitable campaigns are under way and still need the public’s help.
The Good Cheer Fund is a nearly century-old county tradition. Last year, 775 baskets were delivered across Johnson County. Each basket contains a ham, 10 to 25 canned food items, bread, butter, milk, eggs, noodles, muffin mix and other items.
County students have been collecting the canned goods. In Clark-Pleasant schools, the Good Cheer Fund effort is a districtwide service project as part of a national philanthropic initiative. Other schools are having friendly competitions, as well.
The rest of the baskets, though, will be filled through purchases, and the money will come from the public. To make a contribution, send a check to Good Cheer Fund, in care of The Daily Journal, P.O. Box 699, Franklin, IN 46131.
Volunteers will assemble and deliver the baskets next month, and therein lies the heartwarming basis of this annual effort. All workers are volunteers. All of the money comes from donations. It literally is a case of neighbors helping neighbors.
Another annual dose of holiday cheer comes from the Christmas Angels program of the Johnson County United Way. Families who cannot afford holiday gifts for their children can receive help from the program. Some families are matched with donors.
Others can choose items at the Angel Tree Store on Dec. 18 and 19 at Grace United Methodist Church in Franklin. After that, families can go to the United Way office in Franklin for help with gifts for children.
People interested in helping should contact the United Way.
The final effort is the annual Salvation Army bell-ringing campaign. Red kettles and bell ringers have been outside area stores since before Thanksgiving. The money taken in during the campaign funds Salvation Army projects throughout the year.
So as you continue in your quest for gifts for family and friends, take a moment to remember those less fortunate and donate to one or all of the county’s holiday charitable campaigns.
Local charities are in need of some holiday generosity.
Donating to the local efforts will make the holidays happier for many Johnson County families.