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Brighter Christmas program seeks donors and requests for 2021 holiday season; here’s how to help or be helped

ASHEBORO — Thanks to the generosity and kindness of Randolph County citizens, many people have received assistance over the years through Neighbors Helping Neighbors (NHN) have a Brighter Christmas program (formerly The Courier-Tribune Brighter Christmas Fund).

Here are the first two cases:

#371
Elderly couple needs help paying for a sidewalk. They both have disabilities and recently had to have a ramp built. They need to connect the ramp to the gravel area where the car is parked to use the walker and wheelchair.

#381
64-year-old man has multiple leaks and no cut off valves under his house due to old plumbing. He also needs a hot water heater. Has been on disability for several years and unable to do the repairs.

How you can help or be helped

Though this effort is now a year-round program administered by Christians United Outreach Center, the appeal for partnership only takes place around Thanksgiving and Christmas. During this holiday season, we are looking to serve folks of our community just as Brighter Christmas Fund has for many years. 

Neighbors Helping Neighbors have a “Brighter Christmas” is directed by a committee of human service professionals who represent many organizations including The Randolph Hub, Randolph County Senior Adults Association, Randolph County Habitat for Humanity, Randolph County Veterans Council, Christians United Outreach Center and at-large community members.

The purpose of the NHN have a “Brighter Christmas” is to make the community aware of special needs that are usually not addressed by existing human service agencies. If a request is received for services currently being offered by an existing agency, the request will be referred to the appropriate agency. For instance, a request for food or clothing would be referred to CUOC or a Christmas for children requests will go to Operation Red Sleigh or Salvation Army.

Donors

Through the end of the year, we will post specific requests sharing the service or need applicants have requested help for. Those who wish to help applicants may donate money, as well as specific goods and services. 

Often applicants may need delivery services, home repair or materials for such repairs.

Anyone interested in donating goods or services please call CUOC at 336-625-1500 ext.222.  You may leave your name and a working number along with the # of the request you would like to provide assistance for. A committee member volunteer will return your call as soon as possible.  

Checks should be made to CUOC / Neighbors Helping Neighbors. Donors who wish to remain anonymous or to donate to a specific request can write the case # on the memo line of their check.

You can also visit www.mycuoc.org, click on “give back”, “sponsor” and then select under sponsor “Neighbors Helping Neighbors Project”. Please put the case number in the notes section.

Once designated funds for specific requests are spent, additional funds received from the articles in Randolph Hub continue to provide assistance through the NHN program throughout the year as long as funding is available.

Applicants

The average overall NHN request that is able to be met is $250-$500. Requests greater than that may have to be referred to other resources if the need cannot be met.

People requesting help must send:

* A letter to the programs committee stating the need and background information specific to the request. Also include a complete address and a phone where the applicant can be reached or a message can be left. 

* Background information should include:

— What the need is.

— The number in family and their ages.

— Monthly household income.

— All home repair requests must include a professional estimate of labor hours and materials necessary to do the job and the estimate of cost to complete the job.

— A list of other agencies currently providing assistance.

The fund does not provide money for monthly expenses, such as rent or utility bills. 

NOTE: If the case is referred to other city or county grants, weatherization or other resource, the applicant will be sent a letter letting them know we have made referral and have tentatively closed the case. They will need to reapply if the referral does not work out unless it was because the request was so extensive the need could not be met. 
The address for help is: Neighbors Helping Neighbors have a Brighter Christmas, PO Box 784, Asheboro, NC  27204.

Approval

When a letter is received, the committee will review each request and determine which member is most appropriate to be assigned as the lead person. The committee will meet each week to review the progress of each request and its findings. 

he identity of the applicants, unless consent is given, will remain confidential. The HUB will publish stories based on applicant letters to show potential donors what special needs exist in the community and how the needs should best be met. 

Applicants will be informed in writing of the committee’s recommendations as soon as possible. If requests are found to be unsuitable, efforts will be made to refer the information to the appropriate human services agency.