The deadline for Share the Spirit is Wednesday, and while donations are slowly coming in, funds are still far below the $22,000 goal. As of Friday afternoon, the total stood at $11,321, just over the halfway mark.
The program, which provides Christmas dinner baskets, has helped thousands of Rogers County residents over the years.
Those like Jennifer Payne, who several years ago found herself single and expecting a baby.
“Although I was scared of being a single parent, I knew I would be a good mother but I had no idea of the financial struggles I would come to learn, and receiving no support from my son’s father, I would have to work hard to support my son,” she said.
Jennifer’s mother told her about programs for people in her situation available through the Department of Human Services.
“Although I did not want to resort to that, she explained to me that is why they are here,” Jennifer said. “DHS is here to help individuals and families help themselves. So, I applied and the help I received truly made me a better person today.”
When the holidays came around, she heard about the Share the Spirit program and signed up to receive a food basket.
“My son and I were truly blessed to be able to receive that assistance,” she said.
Today, Jennifer is able to help others like she was helped. She is employed with DHS and because of her own experience, is able to relate to the families that come into the office needing assistance — and compassion.
“I love the fact that there are such caring individuals in this county who volunteer their own time to give to those in need,” she said. “Without Share the Spirit, there would be more struggles for our families who are truly trying to find a way to support their family through hard times.”
If you would like to provide a little joy to your Rogers County neighbors who are struggling with a variety of needs this Christmas, make a donation to Share the Spirit.
Tax-deductible donations can be made to Share the Spirit, P.O. Box 248, Claremore, OK 74018, or left at the Progress office. Canned goods are also being collected.
Recent contributors include CK and June Doran, Rex and Dana Crumpton, Janice M. Keenan, Jay and Barbara Summers, Russell C. Stoner, Mary Charlene Harrell, Taylor, Burrage, Foster, Mallett, Downs, Ramsey & Russell PC, Wilma Dolle, John and Phyllis Philpot, Don and John Ellen Armstrong, Sumathy Vannarth, Peter and Karon Anderson, John R. and Kay F. Detter, L.W. and Sandra Liston, Paul E. and Jonnie M. Neely, Cliff and Judy Braughton, Mickey and Kathy Perry, Willie and Janice Still, James H. and Kathryn E. Thomas, Donna Henson, Floyd G. and Jane L. King, Curtis F. Blevins, Curt and Cheryl Daniel, J.A. and Doneta Cantrell Jr., Gary and Melynda Stone, William R. and Jimmie L. Allton, Cynthia Jean Rogers, Leon P. and Beverly A. Semkoff, Minnie “Lu” Kinion, Mark J. and Susan M. Buckmaster, Betty P. Wiley, Shear Delight in Memory of Alice Milner, Doug Conder, William C. and Lois J. Larkin, Dee J. Starr, Amy Gullett, Mary Dunlap, Phyllis Hess, Carleen M. Mitchell, Rachel H. Lowery, Beck’s Plumbing, LLC, Marcella Brasel, Mike Lowery, Gary W. and Bonnie M. Paul, Dale and Jean Rowland, Lora E. Miller, Dorothy A. Twist, B.K. and M.J. Quinton, Joyce Martin, Vann Metal Products, Murry W. and Debra K. Estabrook, and several anonymous donations.