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As Long as We Remember...

November 18, 2010

Around the corner Christmas Cash for Kids

Joan Marie Aquilino

What says Christmas is coming to Frederick more than Bob Miller, a bevy of volunteers, WFMD owners and staff, visiting DJ’s from across the country and You, all gearing up for ‘Christmas Cash for Kids.’


I promise that giving to this charity will become a constant in your life. I’ll go one step further and say that if you donate on Monday and listen to the program during the week, you will donate again before Friday. You just can’t help yourself.


From one person’s caring some 35 years ago, ‘Christmas Cash for Kids’ has evolved into giving clothing and toys to thousands of Frederick children who would otherwise go without Christmas morning.


In 1975, a disc jockey working at radio station, WZYQ (Z-104), received a very distressing phone call from one of his listeners. There was a family in the Frederick area that would have no Christmas and they wanted to know if there was any way he could help. The DJ, with support from the station, stepped up to the plate and with his listeners raised nearly $1,500, enough to provide a Christmas, not only this family, but several others.


On that Christmas Eve back in 1975 as “Santa” (the disc jockey) drove along a dirt road north of Frederick, he found a wooden shack. He knocked, thinking all the while this was a horrible place for a family to live. He would quickly find out it got worse.


They didn’t live in the shack; they lived behind the shack in an even more rickety wooden shanty. The shack would have been a step up. DJ Santa trudged around the shack heading to the shanty, wondering what he’d encounter next; hesitantly he knocked at the door. A little girl slowly emerged, eyes growing wide as she opened the door. Throwing her arms around Santa she exclaimed, “My mommy said you’d be too busy, but I knew you’d come!”


“Christmas Cash for Kids” was born that winter night on a dirt road in northern Frederick County and has since blossomed into the one, the only, and the largest charity for Frederick children, where every single cent – and then some – is spent on our children.


I know Christmas is not about the toys per say, but it is about the love we share with those less fortunate; and, for the children, it’s a small luxury that can do so much when it comes to their friends or schoolmates telling story’s of their Christmas morning and now they, too, will have their own stories to share – thanks to you. They won’t be left to wonder what they did so wrong that Santa wouldn’t visit them.


Plus, it’s not all about toys; it’s also about bringing the warmth of a new pair of shoes, a cozy winter coat or whatever else might be needed to keep our children warm in heart and body. A child, who can find their smile, is a child where hopes still lives; and with hope anything is possible.


How can you doubt the presence of a higher being when on that very special morning a child’s smile is all that is needed to light up the heavens?


These aren’t other people’s children; they are children who go to your child’s school, live next door, worship at the same church, but because of circumstances they will be left without Christmas unless we help. This is HOME; these are our children.


None of the money received is used for overhead expenses. The funds are spent in Frederick County stores for Frederick county children. Volunteers work with local businesses to receive discounts, thus enabling more buying power for your buck.


Here’s what you can do. If you’re a retail business, put out a collection can. Put up a poster in your storefront window. Pass the hat in your company or come up with unique ways of collecting money, i.e., dress down days, funny hat or whatever you can come up with. Call the WFMD office at 301/663-4181 for a poster or information for your business to show you are working to raise money for “Christmas Cash for Kids.” Then bring your donation by the station and tell us how you did it and challenge others to do the same.


Politicians, you are the ones I want to see giving the most this year. You want from us constantly, using our tax money to support the programs you deem worthy. You even take expense account money and give our money to programs you want. Well, turnaround is fair play. Now it’s your turn to give back. I want you to give children their laughter and hope back with you personal donation.


Also, for every ‘nasty’ mailer sent and ‘attack’ robo-call made, I think a $500 donation per mailer or call would be a good beginning.


What do others think?


If you agree with me, let the politicians know; call WFMD daily; write letters to the editors of all local papers; blog; and post on Facebook and put this challenge out there. They pestered you for a vote, and donations to get elected. Now you pester them for money to help Frederick County children. Can we send out robo-calls to every politician in Frederick County asking for donations? Let’s start our own movement. Are you with me? Let me know.


This year Christmas Cash for Kids is being held November 29th through December 3rd. Please mark your calendar to help us make this year even better than last. It’s not too early to start collecting today.


Remember… give until it hurts, then give some more! I promise you’ll be beaming when you are done and feel like a million bucks even if you were only able to give a few dollars.


What else matters if you don’t matter in the life of a child?


…’til next time . . .


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