Letter: Community steps up in troubled times

So far, 2020 held a lot of surprises for everyone in Jackson County. One large, pleasant surprise for Sertoma members is how well the Jackson County community stepped up in troubled times.

Jackson County Sertoma Club members cannot be more pleased with the wonderful response we got from so many individuals, clubs, businesses, groups, and organizations that made Christmas Miracle work … again, and under trying circumstances. We kept a running list of contributing individuals, companies, clubs, and organizations which swelled to 104, up from 77 in total in 2019, and I know we missed some along the way.

To try and list every business, bank, group, club, workplace, agency, print and radio media outlet, and organization that helped to make this year’s Christmas Miracle a success would inevitably cause me to leave someone out. Therefore, we won’t even try to name all contributors and volunteers, but realize that our gratitude for your help knows no bounds. Because of everyone who supported our cause this difficult year, Sertoma was able to help 220 families with 542 children throughout Jackson County. You may note that the numbers of children and families was down in 2020. Please note that Sertoma, due to Community support, served every qualified applicant this year, and we don’t know why the number of applicants were down. Perhaps toys are more popular than gift cards. Perhaps the changes in our application form, which stressed that only an applicant’s natural and step children, foster children, and children under guardianships are eligible, and nieces, nephews, grandchildren, etc. are not eligible. Perhaps employment and financial circumstances among our Christmas Miracle applicants are better than we think it is. Who knows?

In the end, the people of this fine county showed their true desire to help their fellow citizens. One Sertoma member recently observed that Christmas Miracle now is a project of the entire Jackson County Community, not merely a Sertoma project. This continues to be more true every year.

We at Jackson County Sertoma hope to return to ‘normal’ operations next year, as many of us truly missed the fellowship and one-on-one contact with Community volunteers and applicants. But time will tell what 2021 holds for our County.

Sertoma stands for SERvice TO MAnkind. Our club is able to do what we do for the people of this county, because of your support. Again, thanks go out from all the members of Jackson County Sertoma for everyone’s help in making the Christmas season a little brighter for the children of Jackson County.

John Fox

Christmas Miracle co-chairman for the Jackson County Sertoma Club