December 2014
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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Small Donations Make Big Donations

Christmas in Berthoud Disperses Cash and Gifts to Forty-Nine Families in Need
Laurie Hindman
Berthoud Recorder

Christmas came early to 49 Berthoud families who are struggling this holiday season. On Saturday evening, Dec. 20, the volunteer efforts and community outpouring in support of the Christmas in Berthoud program came to fruition as dozens of people swarmed Town Hall to organize gifts, fill cars and trucks, and deliver them to needy families.

Officer Jeremy Yachik, who organized a toy and food drive, sat in a trustee’s chair with the list of recipients as volunteers lined up in front of the table awaiting assignments. The rows of orange seats, typically filled with the press and the public at Tuesday night board meetings, were piled high with gifts, many wrapped and labeled with tags such as “two-year-old girl” or “six-year-old boy.” Dozens of hand-made fleece blankets in a rainbow of colors and patterns were stacked on several seats. Two 20-gallon trashcans were filled with new hats, gloves, mittens and scarves. Another bin overflowed with stuffed animals.

“It is overwhelming,” said Officer Yatchik. “The response was huge. It just shows how much people are hurting right now.”

A committee of representatives from local churches, businesses and caring individuals, created the Christmas in Berthoud campaign. The committee received names of families in need from the House of Neighborly Service, churches, neighbors, and schools. The campaign raised a total of $9561.97.  All of the money, except $11.97, was given to the families. The nominal remainder was left in the Home State bank account as a base for next year’s fund.

Although there were donations that ranged from $100 to $500, the largest being from A&W restaurant, the majority of the money came from modest contributions and the coins collected in “Christmas in Berthoud” donation cans dispersed at businesses throughout Town. The “Make and Take” Christmas craft activity on the Dec. 13 raised over $900 and another $1,400 came from the “Pennies War” competition held at Turner Middle School.

Each family on the list received a $100 gift card to Hay’s Market, a $50 cash card per child in the family, a food basket, and age appropriate toys and gifts. Any toys that were not given away that night were donated to the Marine Corp’s Toys for Tots.

Recipients were called the day before to let them know the gifts were being delivered on Saturday, though several people stopped by to collect the donations in person, as they were not going to be home at the time of delivery. One woman struggled with her emotions as Kim Land, a volunteer from Grace Place and a Christmas in Berthoud committee member, explained what she would be receiving. “We had lots of tears when we called people too,” said Land. “There is a great deal of emotional stress on families right now.”

Alice Wurtz, who delivered gifts with her husband Eric, said what struck her most was the generosity of the community. “It is really nice to see all the donations and so many people willing to give time and money when their situations are tight too.”

That sentiment was demonstrated by the volunteer service of Nanette Embree. Embree was on the list to receive a gift and food basket, but insisted on volunteering to help. “I’m from the south,” she declared in a telling drawl. “You don’t receive without giving back, that’s just the way it is done and it’s good karma. I am not the only one who has needs.”


Don Dana, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, who was also part of the Christmas in Berthoud committee, said the program was a complete success. “I think the outpouring of goodwill was awesome and it felt good to be a part of helping others who are hurting.”

Volunteers who were present Saturday evening included: Sandra and Corina Adamson, Melissa and Tanner O’Leary, Don Dana, Janet Jamerson, Pam, Jessica, and Kule Wilcox, Kim Land, Jeremy Yatchik and his three children, Ashley, Savannah, and Jonathon, Mary Ellen Tonsing, Nanette Embree, Lisa Underhill and her son Calvin Ludwig, Pam Hauschild, June Zancanella, and Eric and Alice Wurtz.

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 Small Donations Make Big Donations

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C CIB%20Officer%20Yatchik%20loads%20bike%20 %20Hindman DC.tif0002 Small Donations Make Big Donations

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<p><!–[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:ApplyBreakingRules /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> <w:UseAsianBreakRules /> <w:UseFELayout /> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]–> <!–[if gte mso 10]> <mce:style><! /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”;} –> <!–[endif]–></p>
<p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;”><span style=”font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;”><span style=”font-size: small;”>Officer Yatchik loads one of two new bicycles that were donated to the Christmas in Berthoud toy drive.</span></span></p>

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<p><span style=”font-family: times new roman,times;”><span style=”font-size: small;”>Berthoud Town Hall was packed with gifts.</span></span></p>

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