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As Long as We Remember...

December 5, 2014

A Frederick Christmas Tradition

Joe Charlebois

How do you buy Christmas presents for over 1,800 needy children? The answer in Frederick, Maryland, is Christmas Cash for Kids. For 30 years, the Frederick community has dug deep into their pockets to help their neighbors in providing presents on Christmas morning that otherwise wouldn’t be there.


According to the Patty Pollatos Fund (PPF) website, this is the 40th year of the Christmas Cash for Kids campaign. PPF says that: “In 1975, an announcer working at radio station, WZYQ, received a very distressing phone call from one of his listeners. There was a family in the Frederick area that would have no Christmas. The disc jockey made the decision and the station raised nearly $1,500, enough to provide Christmas for several families.”


“It was snowing on that Christmas Eve as “Santa” (the disc jockey) drove along a dirt road north of Frederick. He found a wooden shack. The mother and her three children didn’t live there. They lived in the shanty behind the shack. Santa knocked at the door. A little girl answered. She threw her arms around Santa and exclaimed, “My mommy said you’d be too busy, but I knew you’d come!”


Today through the continued efforts of the Salvation Army and 930WFMD nearly 2,000 children this Christmas will receive presents through the generosity of individuals, families and businesses this year. From a dollar to thousands of dollars, the donations have poured into the coffers at the radio station, and several locations around town.


My children and I stopped by the station earlier this week to make our donation.  Since they don’t exactly fit the WFMD demographic, they weren’t fully aware what Christmas Cash for Kids was all about. To be honest, they haven’t listened to Bob, Frank and the other on-air personalities unless they were stuck in the car with me. My oldest daughter has helped out with the fantastic Toys for Tots program previously, but this is the first time they intentionally set aside money for this program. We did this, as many other Frederick families do, by simply depositing our change in a big jar throughout the year. Prior to this year the big jar was used to collect spending money for vacations. The children and I felt a lot better Wednesday night after leaving the station than we would have spending it on a trip.


This week, the 930WFMD radio station is already filled with toys. Boxes, filled with Elsa & Anna dolls and Transformers, line the halls all the way up to the ceiling. Listeners from around town visited the station to drop off their cash or check donations as Bob Miller rang his bell in celebration of each donation, no matter how small.


Make sure Santa gets to every home this holiday season.


If you want to help, please go to to make your donation or stop by the radio station today. One hundred percent of all donations go to purchases.


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