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Final Report Of The 2020 Christmas Mother
Community Support Was 'Wonderful,' Says Board

Covington, VA (Feb. 12, 2021) - The 2020 Highlands Christmas Mother, Brenda Linkenhoker, presented her final report recently to members of the Highlands Christmas Mother, Inc. Board of Directors during a Zoom meeting in late January.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic it was necessary to make many changes to the 2020 program. Used items were not accepted and food gift cards were distributed rather than bags of groceries. Distribution was handled in a drive-by manner and the number of staff and volunteers was greatly reduced to meet COVID restrictions.

The 2020 Christmas Mother Program received 403 applications and the extreme generosity of the community made it possible to serve 1,211 individuals: 617 adults, 460 children, and 134 teens (13-18 years of age if still in high school). The program serves Covington, Clifton Forge, Iron Gate, Low Moor, Selma and Alleghany County residents.

The Christmas Mother Shop was located in the Parish Hall of Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Locust Street in Covington. The Board is grateful to Sacred Heart Catholic Church for allowing the use of the facility and to the many other churches who support the program in various ways.

To supplement the donation of new items from our generous residents, organizations and businesses, the program used monetary donations to purchase items for applicants as follows: food cards, $22,246.50; clothing $4,283.36; household goods, $5,362.80; teen items, $817.70; toys, $4,435.41. Ancillary expenses, including office expenses, postage and telephone, amounted to $1,757.10. Purchases were made locally including the food cards.

Of the remaining balance, the board voted to donate to the following: Sacred Heart Catholic Church for heating and utility expenses; Covington City and Alleghany County Schools for their shoe and clothing funds for needy students, Kiwanis Club food drive which supports the four local food pantries and Men of Missions.

     Contributions were received from businesses, churches individuals, organizations and schools. All funds received are used to help Christmas Mother program applicants in the Highlands. The Christmas Mother, her volunteer staff and members of the Board of Directors do not receive any compensation for their duties. The program is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation.

     Brenda chose as her theme "Love and Joy." Brenda stated, "Thank you for the privilege of serving as the seventy-second Highlands Christmas Mother. It has been a blessing. I never expected to have the honor of being the Christmas Mother. The community support was wonderful. In fact, the entire experience was educational, humbling and amazing. Thank you again for trusting me with the program this year."

     The Board expressed its sincere gratitude to Brenda and her family for the amazing job she did under very trying and unusual circumstances.

      The mission of the Highlands Christmas Mother Inc. is to help provide a merry Christmas for all area applicants meeting the poverty guidelines.

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