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Cambria County – Nearly 40% of children in Pennsylvania are poor or from families with low income. For those families, holiday shopping can be especially stressful. You can help to make sure that no children from our region go without holiday cheer by giving to the 2016 Santa Fund.

The Santa Fund provides gifts to children in Cambria County, where the child poverty rate is among the highest in the state. Last year, the Santa Fund raised more than $23,000, and distributed gifts to approximately 1,800 children under the age of 14. That’s more than three times the number of gifts it gave out when it started ten years ago.

Spearheaded by The Tribune-Democrat, partners include the Alternative Community Resource Program, Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania, the Family Center, and the Greater Johnstown School District. Boscov’s Department Store in Richland Township provides the gifts at cost.

The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies administers the Santa Fund, receiving all donations and processing gift payments. It’s done so without charge since the fund’s inception. “This is something we all support here at the Community Foundation. The fund’s success is a tribute to its partner organizations, and to the hundreds of people in Cambria County who open their hearts to those in need year after year. We’re proud to have a part in that.”

We’re asking individuals, businesses, and organizations to give whatever they can. Donating online is easy at the Community Foundation website. You can also make donations at the cash register when you shop at Boscov’s in Richland Township.

Children age newborn through 12 years qualify for gifts. Nominate a family in need through November 19th. You’ll find hard copies of the application in The Tribune-Democrat newspaper. You can also click here to print one out. The paper’s downtown office takes the applications, which go to a Santa Fund committee for review. Gifts will be distributed December 7th at the Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania in Johnstown.

Together, we can make this holiday a special one for children with the greatest need.

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