As the Christmas Program director for The Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers, each year I’m faced with the challenges associated with collecting enough donations early enough to pack boxes for more than 1,700 disadvantaged children throughout the state. I have to monitor applicants to ensure donations are given to qualified families and abide by a strict deadline that guarantees the gifts will reach those families before the holiday.

Each year, I am amazed by the inspirational outpouring of generosity from this community. How lucky and fortunate we are to be a part of a Maine community that not only cares about their neighbors, friends and even strangers, but also rallies around them and offers support in their time of need.

The support The Maine Children’s Home receives for the Christmas Program surfaces in many ways. It’s the selfless children who sacrifice their own birthday goodies and request donations be made to us instead. It’s the volunteers who log countless hours going through inventory, stocking shelves, and packing and checking boxes. It’s the Thomas College students, athletes and faculty who transport the packed boxes to the Augusta and Waterville armories for distribution. It’s all of the donors who send money, or show up at our development office with toys and clothing.

As we begin the new year, I want to thank everyone throughout Maine for their continued support of The Maine Children’s Home and its Christmas Program, from all of us here and on behalf of the record-breaking 1,722 little ones who received some holiday cheer through the Christmas Program in 2013. Our donors are the reason we can continue to strengthen families and their children, the core of our mission.

Happy New Year.

Cristen SawyerChristmas Program directorThe Maine Children’s Home for Little WanderersWaterville

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