The Freedom District Lions Club, working with their two youth groups the Leo Club and the Leo Club, are asking for monetary donations to help families in Eldersburg and Sykesville.
The money will be used to buy essential items including coats, gloves, clothing, shoes, and a few play toys for children in Eldersburg and Sykesville.
"Donations are very low this year due to the large number struggling families," said Carl Livesay, Youth Outreach Chairperson for the Freedom Disctrict Lions Club. "Last year we were able to provide Christmas dinner, gifts and 30 days of groceries for eight families. Our goal this year is to provide Christmas for 19 families which we have identified as needing our help."
The Lions Club works with the dedicated school counselors of the area elementary schools to identify families in need. With the permission of the family, obtained by the counselors, the Lions contact families and identify the needs and wishes of each child in their household.
The project is funded by the Lions Club through the generosity of the community. A Project Leader volunteers from each Leo Club.
The Century High School Leo Club Leader is Ryan Peltier and the Liberty High School Leo Club Leader is Katherine Koman.
The leaders mobilize their teams of 85 members in shopping, purchasing, wrapping and delivering the gifts. The leaders then organize the meals, purchased from a caterer in Eldersburg or Sykesville, and they make arrangements for delivery to the families during Christmas week.
The high school students do all of the work themselves, using any remaining money to purchase groceries for the families.
"These are neighbors right here in our community," said Livesay. "Neighbors who have children in our elementary, middle and high schools. Please donate whatever you can as soon as you can."
"The economy is very tough and we really need your help to make Christmas a reality for these children. Without our help, many and perhaps most of these children will not have Christmas this year," said Livesay.
Tax deductible donations can be made at or . In addition, checks can be made out to the Freedom District Lions Club Foundation and mailed to the Freedom District Lions Club (attn: Treasurer) at P.O. Box 1663, Sykesville, MD 21784.