WATERVILLE — The Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers has received an outpouring of community support to complete its Christmas Program for disadvantaged children, following pleas last month from the local nonprofit that donations were lacking.

The Waterville-based program packs more than 1,700 boxes full of books, gifts and clothing for financially disadvantaged children across the state. An ongoing problem for the program is getting enough inventory by the time the boxes need to be packed.

Often, people don’t think about donating until after Thanksgiving, spokesperson Whitney Moreau has said. But the nonprofit organization tries to get all of the boxes packed by mid-December so it can get them to families in time for Christmas.

Sawyer said earlier in a news release that there’s always a period of time that we struggle to keep enough inventory on hand to keep our packing process moving forward.”

Now, about halfway through the month, the Maine Children’s Home has reached its goal and finished its packing for the year. Boxes are being distributed this week, Moreau said Tuesday.

The success is due in part to publicity the nonprofit received in the week following Thanksgiving. The Christmas Program’s struggles were featured on four major state television stations, on the radio and in several print publications.

The Fairfield Center Trucking Company donated $10,000 to the Christmas Program on Dec. 6 after seeing the Maine Children’s Home’s call for help in the media, Moreau said. All of the money donated will go in a fund for the program, she said.

Each child in the program receives a box typically filled with new mittens and hats, a book and a coloring book, crayons, a large toy and a small toy, pajamas, warm clothes and a family game.

Donations are accepted year-round, but will now go toward next year’s Christmas Program. A full list of donation needs can be found at mainechildrenshome.org.

The organization has asked for help in the past when it was still hundreds of boxes short of its goal and only a week away from its deadline.

However, Moreau has said they always find a way to reach their goal, whether it’s through an outpouring of support, reserve funds or money from fundraisers.

“We are so grateful to the community, both near and far, that helped make 1,700 children’s Christmas morning brighter,” Sawyer, the director, said.

Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @madelinestamour

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