If you ever wondered what Santa's workshop must be like before Christmas, all you need to do is look at all the work that went into this year’s Teen Christmas and their efforts to help 398 teens.
The Catawba County United Way program is part of the annual Catawba County Christmas Bureau (Dec. 14-15), which is a collaborative effort by dozens of local organizations to provide clothing, coats, food cards and toys to families in need during Christmas.
In addition to helping teens (ages 13-18) of families on the Christmas Bureau list, Teen Christmas also partners with high school and middle school counselors/social workers to identify teens who may be homeless, pregnant, displaced or abandoned. These teens have no parent to complete their Christmas Bureau applications, so school personnel become their Christmas guardians completing the applications for them.
Donations are used to purchase clothing, shoes and teen toy items. This year Teen Christmas also focused on bath/body baskets for girls and boys with more than 225 donated.
Organizations who helped prepare the baskets this year included: The Rotary Club of Lake Hickory, St. Luke’s Methodist Church, First Baptist Church, First Methodist Youth, Jacob Fork Middle School, First Presbyterian, Catawba County Newcomers, the social workers and counselors of Hickory Public Schools, Newton-Conover City Schools and Catawba County Schools. McDonald’s also provided a gift food card for each teen.
For the eighth year, Shurtape Technologies partnered with Teen Christmas, purchasing special gifts for teens.
Teen Christmas had 24 volunteers who worked September through December to make help sort, pack and prepare for this year’s Christmas Bureau. If you’d like to learn more about helping or being part of next year’s Teen Christmas call the Catawba County United Way at 828-327-6851.