Welcome to the United Way (UWGC) Christmas Wishes Program!
The 2019 Christmas Wishes Program will run as part of the Gaston Christmas Co-Op, a group of agencies, programs, and organizations who have agreed to work together during the holidays.
The Gaston Gazette will partner with United Way of Gaston County again this year to support the Christmas Wishes Program. Christmas Wishes helps families who are having trouble financially getting Christmas gifts for their children this year. The program also assists senior citizens who would not have a Merry Christmas otherwise. Christmas Wishes is a needs based program.
- Application forms will be taken from October 28th through November 26th. Here is the application. Paper copies of the application are available in The Gazette lobby and at The United Way office.
- Applications can be turned in at any Gaston Christmas Co-Op member. Applications can be emailed to: Christmas@unitedwaygaston.org. They can also be dropped off in the Gaston Gazette Lobby or at the United Way office
Deadline for applications is Tuesday, November 26, 2019
Applications received after November 26, 2019 will not be considered
Christmas Wishes gifts will be available for pick up December 16 – 17 (You will be notified on when to pickup)
Criteria for the Christmas Wishes program are:
- Applicants must live in Gaston County and must need assistance
- Applicants must use an application form and the form must be complete
- Requests will only be granted for children under 19 yrs. old who are enrolled in school full time and are in need
- Requests will also be granted for adults 55 years old or older who are in need
- Only one request will be accepted per household
- On the application you may list A Want, A Need, and A Read for each child or adult. A Want is an item the child wants to have, A Need could be clothes, toiletries, or school items. A Read is a book the person wants or a topic they are interested in. Please do not request expensive items or electronics, requests are filled through donations
- PLEASE NOTE: Christmas Wishes will not distribute food, pay bills, or supply furniture or household goods. Financial crisis help is available through crisis agencies around Gaston County
- Requests should be made by the family seeking help and not on the behalf of someone else.
- Requests that do not meet these criteria will not be considered
There is no guarantee that a request will be granted since we rely strictly on donations from your community
The United Way of Gaston County (UWGC) has served as the Gaston County administrator for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library (DPIL) for 15 years. UWGC currently has nearly 800 Gaston County children enrolled in the program. DPIL is an early literacy program that provides books to children from birth until their 5th birthday. Children enrolled in the program receive an age appropriate book in the mail each month, starting with The Little Engine That Could and ending with Look Out Kindergarten Here I Come! That is a total of 60 books in the home before the child enters Kindergarten. Multiple studies have shown that just having aged appropriate books in the home makes a significant impact on a child’s school preparedness, vocabulary and reading comprehension. Studies also show that having books in the home encourages families to spend time reading together.
UWGC celebrated this wonderful milestone in our community with a drop in event at the Gaston County Library on July 18, 2019. All of the children enrolled in the UWGC program were invited to come, bring their parents and siblings and celebrate with activities and snacks. Thurman, the penguin from GSM Services, even made an appearance at the celebration.
UWGC is looking forward to more children being impacted with this early literacy program. Last year, the Partnership for Children of Lincoln and Gaston Counties (PFC) became a partner in the program through funding received from the North Carolina Legislature. This funding allows the Partnership to also enroll children in select zip codes in our community and together, PFC and UWGC have more than 3000 Gaston County children receiving books each month!
United Way Worldwide has a strict set of standards local organizations must adhere to for membership. We’re excited and proud to receive our 2019 “Thumbs Up” verifying we’re members in good standing! Your United Way team works hard everyday to be the best we can be!
Thanks to the supporters of our 100×100 campaign we are making an impact in our community. There is still time to join the campaign! Don’t wait…email firstname.lastname@example.org today!