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Christmas in Berthoud encourages giving to those in need during the holidays

November 16, 2018 | Local News
Courtesy photo – Berthoud residents gave donations and “nominated” locations to be “flocked” to raise money for this year’s Christmas in Berthoud. Flocks of flamingos could be seen all over town.

By Shelley Widhalm

The Surveyor

Christmas in Berthoud is so much more than stopping at a giving tree and buying something for those in need — it’s a long list of activities that make giving extra fun.

“Everyone deserves a little Christmas magic, children most of all,” said Raegan Evans, president of Christmas in Berthoud.

To give that magic, the nonprofit places a giving tree and giving table at Hays Market and a second giving tree at the Berthoud Community Library District. The trees and table went up Nov. 15 and will be in place through Dec. 11.

The trees will have tags with gift ideas for children ages 0 to 18 that can be donated that day or brought back to Hays Market or the library. The tags will give the children’s ages, clothing and shoe sizes, and top two Christmas wish items. An additional $50 will be provided per child so parents can purchase additional gifts.  

At Hays Market donors can stop at the giving table and pick up a tag with a $5 or larger donation amount and take it to the cashier. The donations will be used to purchase groceries for holiday baskets that will include the fixings for a traditional Christmas meal plus gift cards to Hays to supplement the baskets.

“We appreciate any donations,” Evans said. “No donation is too small.”

The gifts and food baskets are for families who live in Berthoud or have children attending Berthoud schools. The families are nominated privately or through Berthoud churches and schools and the House of Neighborly Service nonprofit that provides clothing, food and other items for families in need.

“We are all supposed to care for one another,” Evans said. “Everyone has fallen on hard times at some point in their lives. If we care about people in our community, it makes the world a better place.”

The gifts and baskets will be distributed Dec. 15 at First United Methodist Church of Berthoud during the last day of the Berthoud Snowfest winter festival. The festival is hosted by the Berthoud Area Chamber of Commerce, which promotes Christmas in Berthoud alongside its other events.

“We are helping children and families that live in our community. They could be friends, families and neighbors,” Evans said. “We know how stressful holidays are, especially if you’re struggling already to make ends meet. We hope to take away that stress from parents and bring smiles to little faces.”

Last year Christmas in Berthoud provided 90 children with gifts from the giving trees and 40 families with the Christmas baskets.

Christmas in Berthoud holds several fundraisers to support the program and to supplement any gifts that aren’t turned in and to match what siblings receive. This year the nonprofit added a new fundraiser of flamingo flocking with plastic flamingos left in residents’ yards now through Dec. 31. Residents pay a donation to have the flamingos removed by Christmas in Berthoud committee members. The committee has two flocks of 12 and one with 24 flamingos.

The nonprofit’s other fundraisers include:

  • Nov. 17, 4:30-7 p.m., Christmas in Berthoud Spaghetti Dinner with a silent auction and bake sale at the Berthoud Community Center, 248 Welch Ave. The cost is $5 per person, 3 and under free.
  • Dec. 15, noon-3 p.m., pictures with Santa at the New Freedom Outreach Center, 250 Mountain Ave. Also make-and-take, a craft activity with Turner Middle School students noon-2 p.m. A donation is requested to attend.
  • Nov. 26 to Dec. 3, Penny Wars at Berthoud and Ivy Stockwell elementary schools and Turner Middle School. The class that brings in the most money at each school will receive a pizza party, and the school with the largest donation will win a root beer float party.

Last year Christmas in Berthoud raised $4,000 from the dinner, silent auction and bake sale and $16,000 overall.

The giving event began in 2004 as the Festival of Trees, hosted by Grace Place until 2012 when Christmas in Berthoud became an independent nonprofit. The nonprofit seeks additional sponsors for this year’s event and so far has about a half-dozen.

For details about the event or to make a nomination, visit www.christmasinberthoud.org.

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