The Christmas Holiday Bureau Hopes for Some Help

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SCRANTON -- Volunteers are busy making their list and checking it twice, stamping envelopes and getting ready to mail out holiday help to families in need in Lackawanna County.

The Christmas Holiday Bureau in Scranton says the need is greater than ever.

"It seems like it, we help around 1,000 families and what we're seeing more of this year is folks who have lost their job and working, trying to get unemployment, and really have a need," said Community Service Director for the Voluntary Action Center Ellen Stevens.

Robert Malpassa helps out at the Voluntary Action Center and says he knows just how much gift cards from The Christmas Holiday Bureau mean to families who are struggling to make ends meet, but realizes not all of these envelopes may be stuffed.

"It`s very important, people are really counting on this.  Hopefully we'll be able to make it, I hope," said Malpassa.

"Everyone is having difficulties, so even on the side of donating, people have a little bit less. So it makes it a little bit more of a challenge to receive those donations," said Stevens.

Ellen Stevens has organized the program for about 30 years and says it takes $65,000 to $70,000 dollars in donations each year to mail gift cards to families. Right now, they have just a little more than half of the money they need.

Volunteers hope more donations pour in so they can stuff these envelopes with gift cards for families in need in Lackawanna County, putting more gifts under the tree for kids this Christmas.

"There is a lot of generous people out there, and we appreciate all the help we get," said Malpassa.

Just a dollar or two from those who can help, can make holiday dreams come true for families who have so little this year.

"It's not a whole lot of money but it's just something extra to do something special for their holidays whether it's food for their dinner, clothing, maybe they need a new jacket," said Stevens.

Donations may be mailed to:

The Christmas Holiday Bureau
Scranton Life Building – Suite 420
538 Spruce Street
Scranton, PA 18503-1816

Click here for their website.