INDIANAPOLIS – A community center on the near southwest side spreads holiday cheer, every year, helping hundreds of families in need.
Typically, by now, they would be nearing their goal, but donations aren’t coming in as quickly this year.
For Trisha Deane the holiday season meant for many years she would have to decide to either pay bills or provide Christmas for her children.
“Most years, I wouldn’t know what to do,” she explained.
She’s thankful she doesn’t have to make that tough decision anymore. Thanks to the Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center and its holiday assistance program.
“They gave me gifts for the kids which made them happy and then also food to make them dinner which then filled their bellies,” said Deane.
The center collects hundreds of totes and fills them with blankets, hats, gloves, winter coats for kids, toys, and food. This year, their goal is 600 totes.
“That means, 600 families, 600 totes, 600 meals. It’s a big deal. 600 toys, 1,200 toys,” explained Jennifer Neer, the Manager of Development and Communication for Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center.
But with only a month left until distribution day, donations have slowed down, and organizers haven’t even hit the halfway mark.
“I think it’s just due to the pandemic, everyone is struggling right now,” said Joni Hurst, the coordinator of the holiday program.
No donations means the center may have to lower its standards for the families they serve.
Hurst added, “We might just have to scale back, they might only be able to get gloves, instead of gloves and a hat.”
“If that happens there’s a lot of families who won’t know what to do for Christmas,” said Deane.
That’s not an option for the program organizers, because each tote and donation is a sign of hope for the holidays.
“These are going to really bring more joy to your Christmas as well,” added Neer.
If you would like to help the Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center, click here. You can also call (317) 639-6106.