Wake County is asking residents to kick off the season of giving and bring some joy to children, families and seniors in our community by participating in the annual Holiday Cheer program.
For more than four decades, the program has matched families with community sponsors who provide them with Thanksgiving, Christmas and other holiday meals and gifts. Beginning today, interested volunteers can sign up and will be matched with their assigned recipients.
“The holiday season is just around the corner, and many in our community are seeing their budgets stretched thin this year,” said Wake County Board of Commissioners Chair Sig Hutchinson. “Through the generosity of our sponsors, the Holiday Cheer program can continue to serve thousands of families each year and ensure our neighbors and fellow community members have the opportunity to enjoy this festive time of year.”
Updates to Holiday Cheer
This year, the program is altering how recipients and sponsors connect to exchange gifts and meals. In the past, sponsors and families would meet on their own to exchange gifts and meals. This year, the county will host three distribution day events in December where families and sponsors can all come together in a safe space to exchange gifts and connect.
Details on these events will be shared with sponsors and families once they’ve been matched. Holiday Cheer is excited to partner with the Carolina Mudcats for a distribution day event where there will be appearances by Muddy, story time and kids will get to run the bases and play catch in the field.
If someone is unable to sponsor a family, they can still make tax-deductible donations to the program such as monetary donations, gift cards, children’s toys and more. These donations go a long way to ensure each family or household receives the meals or gifts they need this season.
For Thanksgiving, Holiday Cheer is making is easy for those who want to provide a festive feast for neighbors in our community. Sponsors can simply pick up a Holiday Cheer box at one of the locations below, pack the box with items from a suggestion list with the box and return it to any of the locations.
We encourage participants to include notes or cards of kindness, thanksgiving and encouragement to the family who will receive the box.
Thanksgiving boxes can be picked up at:
- Wake County Health and Human Services Swinburne Building, 220 Swinburne St., Raleigh
- Wake County Health and Human Services, 4401 Bland Road, Raleigh
- Southern Regional Center, 130 N. Judd Parkway NE, Fuquay-Varina
- Northern Regional Center, 350 E. Holding Ave., Wake Forest
- Eastern Regional Center, 1002 Dogwood Drive, Zebulon
- Western Regional Center, 111 James Jackson Ave. #219, Cary
All those who receive assistance from Holiday Cheer are nominated based on needs by their social worker or case manager and families do not sign up themselves.
Last year, through generous sponsorships, Holiday Cheer raised $8,650 in donations and provided 3,000 gifts to children and disabled adults/seniors. All funds raised go directly to participants of the program through gifts or gift cards.
Anyone who wishes to sponsor a family can complete the online application here by Nov. 11 for Thanksgiving and by Nov. 28 for Christmas. If anyone would like to volunteer their time to help with distribution events, they can sign up here.
Those who have questions can reach out to Aryn Banks, who oversees the program, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about Holiday Cheer, visit wakegov.com/holidaycheer.