Sertoma Christmas Miracle applications now available

A local nonprofit organization that has been delivering Christmas miracles to underprivileged children for more than 40 years has begun preparing for this year’s event.

John Fox with the Jackson County Sertoma Club said the annual Sertoma Christmas Miracle gift program will look a little different this year.

“Due to health concerns, all gifts will be mailed to recipients via the use of gift cards,” he said.

Gift cards that are purchased or contribution checks may be dropped off at all branches of the Jackson County Public Library (check open times), Shoe Sensation in the Jackson Park Shopping Center in Seymour or mailed to Jackson County Sertoma, P.O. Box 841, Seymour, IN 47274.

“Gift cards are to be in the amount of $35 per card. Donors are very welcome to purchase multiple gift cards,” Fox said. “Christmas Miracle usually serves around 800 kids in nearly 400 families in Jackson County only.”

Financial needs are projected to be $28,000 to $30,000, which includes mailing costs, with approximately $7,000 collected as of the middle of November. Applications to date are running at 6% above 2019, Fox said.

“The changes to giving gift cards rather than giving physical gifts have been prompted by COVID-19 concerns for volunteers, particularly those who deliver gifts to the applicants,” he said. “A return to Christmas Miracle’s more normal mode of giving is a goal for the 2021 Christmas Miracle.”

Applications are available in Seymour at the Jackson County Health Department, WIC office, Seymour City Hall, Jackson County Department of Child Services, all branches of the Jackson County Public Library (check open times), all participating agencies of Jackson County United Way and several local churches.

They also are available at the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department in Brownstown during business hours and Bundy Brothers in Medora.

Applications should be completed and mailed to Jackson County Sertoma, P.O. Box 841, Seymour, IN 47274 by Dec. 10.

All applications are processed through Charity Tracker so resources can be used without duplication of other services, and addresses of applicants are verified to reside in Jackson County.

For information, call the Christmas Miracle headquarters at 812-498-2275. The phone will be answered periodically, so leave a message with questions.

“We are not associated with any national or international toy drive. Anyone who donates gifts or money to Sertoma Christmas Miracle can rest assured knowing that their contribution is used only for the children of Jackson County,” Christmas Miracle co-chairman Ryan Begley said. “This program only exists because of the extraordinary charity of the people of Jackson County.”

The annual Sertoma Christmas Miracle cannot fulfill the children’s wishes without the help of donors.

“COVID-19 is really hurting our efforts,” said Dan Davis, president and chief executive officer of the Community Foundation of Jackson County. “Anything that can be done to help would be greatly appreciated.”

Sertoma is an acronym for SERvice TO MAnkind. For more than 100 years, volunteers known as Sertomans have served communities across the United States.