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Good Tidings

Photo by Eugenia Jones
The McCreary County Christian Care Center Director, Sue Singleton, finds great pleasure in helping others and working with Center volunteers. Pictured are Singleton (third from left) with volunteers Irene King, Linda Ledbetter, and Debra Sierens.

Local organizations spread good cheer

By Eugenia Jones

The spirit of giving abounds throughout McCreary County at Christmas time and throughout the year. From Angel Trees to Dinner with Santa at the Hope Lodge to the McCreary County Christian Care Center, McCreary Countians are eager to spread cheer and generosity.
Operation Hope, a local organization, is leading the way to provide a Dinner with Santa for cancer patients and their caregivers staying at the Hope Lodge in Lexington, KY. The Hope Lodge offers lodging and the opportunity for emotional support to adult cancer patients traveling away from home to receive medical treatments in Lexington, KY. Local organizers are accepting donations to help with the meal and to provide a gift to each person staying at the Hope Lodge. The menu for the meal is as follows: chili, vegetable soup, crackers, sandwiches, cheese, dessert cakes, cookies, fruit tray, and drinks. Any food not used to prepare the holiday meal will be left at the Hope Lodge to provide food for future patients and their caregivers. Items needed for gifts include gloves, hats, scarfs, blankets, throws, cards, puzzles, books, key chains, personal hand sanitizers, lotions, ornaments, angels, inspirational items, and any other types of small items that will bring smiles to the faces of those staying at the Lodge. With Hope Lodge housing up to 32 patients and 32 caregivers, organizers are planning gifts and a holiday meal for sixty-four people. Throughout its existence, the Hope Lodge has been a blessing to more than one McCreary Countian travelling to Lexington for cancer treatments. Donations for the holiday meal and gifts need to be received by December 15. For more information or to donate food, gifts, or money, contact Michelle Perry at 423-539-9301.
Want to do something special for a deserving child during the holidays? It isn’t difficult. Simply go by the Stearns Clubhouse and choose an angel boy or girl from the Christmas tree. Each angel cut out provides good information to use when purchasing a gift for your chosen child.
Established through Sister Lorraine, the McCreary County Christian Care Center has been helping local folks since 1980. In 2000, Sue Singleton became director of the Center and has seen lots of changes in her seventeen year tenure.
“When I came, everything was in one building,” Singleton explained. “However, ten years ago, we opened the Food Pantry across the street. I don’t see how we managed without it!”
The Christian Care Center helps those in need by assisting with food, durable medical equipment, personal care and incontinence items, and school supplies. The Center helps provide personal items (wigs, etc.) needed by cancer patients and equipment such as walkers and crutches needed by the elderly and those with physical limitations. A worker from Somerset also visits each week to help individuals get health insurance.
The Center is supported primarily through donations from residents, churches, and organizations at the local, state, and national levels. Two very small grants (one federal and one from the United Way) also help with food supplies.
With a special focus on helping the working poor and those unable to get other assistance, the Center’s record for assisting those in need is impressive. In 2016/17, more than 3,260 individuals were served through the Center’s medical outreach and 17,234 individuals were served through the Food Pantry.

Donations are accepted year round and can be delivered to the Center Monday through Thursday. For more information on volunteering at the Food Pantry, call 376-8742.

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