Cabot Christmas Alliance Grows With Community's Help
Since the 1960s, generous community members have worked to make sure no Cabot family goes without a Christmas dinner. Back then the effort was led by local churches through the ministerial alliance, and it served just a few needy families. The program, now known as the Cabot Christmas Alliance, has grown to serve more than 700 families today. It is a 501 © (3) nonprofit organization, fueled by a combination of churches, schools, businesses and individuals. Though the program has evolved and grown dramatically, its mission remains the same: Helping those in need have a blessed Christmas.
About 10 years ago, Cabot Christmas Alliance joined forces with a likeminded group, Christmas for Kids, which gives toys to local kids under age 16. Teaming up was a “natural fit,” says Cheryl Moore, a volunteer from First Baptist Church. “Each year more people realize that Cabot Christmas Alliance is truly a community endeavor, not just a particular group or one church,” Moore says of the massive effort carried out by hundreds of volunteers who work to collect, sort and distribute supplies. “The more we work together as a coherent group, more people can be helped.”
Bill Holden, chair of Christmas for Kids, has been working with the program for 36 years and calls it a “calling from God.” “I feel like that’s what I need to be doing during that particular time of year,” he says.
“There are families in Cabot, Arkansas that would not have a Christmas dinner, something that so many of us take for granted, if it were not for the work of Cabot Christmas Alliance,” says Moore. “There are also children who would have no gifts were it not for Christmas for Kids and their efforts.”
This year the Cabot Christmas Alliance is seeking volunteers to help sort and pack food boxes on Sat., Dec. 15 starting at 8 a.m. Volunteers are also needed for distribution day Sat., Dec. 22. For more information about volunteering or to request a food box, call 628-2706 or email CabotChristmasAlliance@gmail.com.
Christmas for Kids volunteers are invited to help sort toys from 7-9 p.m. Dec. 17 and each consecutive night until the job is done, Holden says. For more information about donating toys or volunteering with CFK, call 743-3560. Both groups gladly accept monetary donations as well.
Santa Shack Returns
The 16th annual Santa Shack, sponsored by Cabot City Beautiful, will run this year from Nov. 23-Dec. 23. Kids are invited to visit Santa in his Christmas “shack” outside Wal-Mart, give him their wish lists, and get photos and free candy canes. See Santa at 6-8 p.m. Fri.; 9-11 a.m., noon-2 p.m., 3-5 p.m. & 6-8 p.m. Sat.; and 1-3 p.m. & 4-6 p.m. Sun.
Christmas Parade Goes Whoville
The 2012 theme for Cabot’s annual Christmas Parade will be “It’s a Dr. Seuss Christmas!” See the Seussical excitement at 3 p.m. Sun., Dec. 9. Rain date is Dec. 16. For info: 920-2122.
Junior Auxiliary Blesses Children in Need
Each year the Junior Auxiliary of Cabot hosts its “Christmas Blessing Event” to provide Christmas gifts for kids in need. The event is always held at a different home, which is decorated for the holidays. There, JA members set up and decorate a Christmas tree with ornaments representing children in need. This year’s event will be from 1-4 p.m. Sun., Dec. 2. Community members are invited to tour the home, sample hors d’oeuvres and choose an ornament with a child’s age, gender and need. For more information about sponsoring a child and attending this “Christmas Blessing,” visit Facebook.com/JACabot or JuniorAuxiliaryofCabot.com.