By DON O'BRIEN
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
If you're willing to donate, Good News of Christmas workers are willing to do all of the heavy lifting.
"If someone wants to adopt a case, but doesn't want to do the shopping," Good News of Christmas coordinator Tom Van Ness said, "we can do the shopping for them."
Help for the 24th annual campaign, which provides support to dozens of area families this holiday season, is needed -- on both the volunteer and giving fronts. Eleven of the 47 cases in this year's drive have been adopted, which is down slightly from the number of cases that had been adopted at this point in the campaign last year.
"My goal would be if could get 15 of (the cases) specifically adopted. That would be wonderful," said Emily Robbearts, community resources associate for the United Way of Adams County. "If people would like to adopt a case, they can call us at the United Way office and we can work through the process with them."
The first week of the campaign has been busy with volunteers buying items on the various wish lists. Van Ness said more than two dozen people have volunteered their time to shop over the first week. What the campaign needs now is volunteers to help wrap the items.
"Gift wrapping is something that can snowball on you," he said.
Monetary donations, Van Ness said, are also needed. He said the group uses those donations to help buy the big-ticket items on each family's wish lists.
"Donations are what really drives this bus," he said.
Any money donated to the Good News campaign can be used as a tax deduction.
"If you want to donate a little more money before the end of the year for next year's taxes, this is a nice way to donate money," he said.
Though the campaign is based in Quincy, Robbearts stressed that families from all over the area are being helped by the campaign. She noted that there are cases in rural areas in Illinois and Missouri which will benefit from the program.
The Community Room at the Quincy Mall is once again the hub for the Good News program. It is open from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Good News of Christmas Campaign will continue at the site for another 10 days, closing up the final wrapping and gift preparation on Dec. 12. Trucks will deliver gifts and necessities to outlying communities on Dec. 14 and families in the immediate Quincy area will pick up their items on Dec. 13.
Van Ness said the campaign is also in need of gift wrapping and bows. Any donations can be dropped off at the Community Room. If you would like to volunteer, but can't make it at those times, Van Ness said alternate times can be arranged.
To find out information online about the Good News of Christmas campaign, visit the campaign's home at whig.com. The Good News of Christmas can also be found on Facebook by doing a search for Good News of Christmas. For more information about the campaign, call 506-1783.