The Tuesday Crusiers have once again shifted their focus from antique cars and set out to help make Christmas brighter for needy children.
The group donated $3,000 to help the local Christmas Cheer program purchase items for children. The Tuesday Cruisers presented a check to Christmas Cheer Director Eutha Tart at a gathering Nov. 13 at Smithfield’s Chicken and Barbecue in Laurinburg.
This year’s donation is the group’s ninth annual contribution to Christmas Cheer, increased from last year’s due to the donation of a carport from Billy Ray Norris Storage Buildings. The Tuesday Cruisers raffled off the carport and added the proceeds to their fund for charitable contributions. Other funds were raised through raffles at their weekly meetings.
“There are a lot of children out there that don’t get anything like other children get,” said Tuesday Cruiser Larry McAllister. “My wife works with handicapped children at the schools, she’s done it all her life. We like to be a part of helping children.”
The group also raises money for Hospice of Scotland County, the Red Cross, and the Odum Baptist Home for Children in Pembroke.
Christmas Cheer still hopes to raise thousands more to purchase gifts for the holidays, and donations of any size are appreciated.
“The goal is to make sure that no child in Scotland County is without a gift,” Tart said. “We want a smile on every child’s face.”
This year, Christmas Cheer already has 262 families on its list, and will likely deliver gifts to over 350 by Christmas. Families are referred to Christmas Cheer by Four County Community Services, the Scotland County Department of Social Services, and the school system.
“It’s a difficult time for families,” said Tart. “For many families one parent is working and the other is not, or in some cases both have been laid off. We need the help of the community to support every family that has been turned in.”
More than $4,000 has been donated so far. Last year the program raised $10,000 on top of donations of clothing and toys.
In addition to families with children, Christmas Cheer also makes an effort to deliver needed items to the elderly - the oldest person on this year’s list is 92..
“We had a lot of senior citizens to just ask for food and household cleaning supplies,” said Tart. “People can donate that, pick up an item when they’re shopping for Thanksgiving and bring it by.”
Among the items needed most this year are toiletries and school supplies, in addition to clothing for boys and girls in sizes 4 to 14.
“No donation is too small, we appreciate anything anybody gives,” Tart said. “We take socks, underwear, whatever.”
New clothing is preferred, but gently used clothes may be acceptable. All donations should be in by Dec. 20 to be delivered in time for Christmas.
The Christmas Cheer office is located in the Church Community Services building at 108 Gill Street across from the Post Office in Laurinburg.
The office is open from 8:30 a.m to noon Mondays through Fridays and can be reached by calling 277-0026.