Jaycees to help more than 20 kids this Christmas

Published 10:33 am Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Austin Jaycees have resurrected a previous project — soliciting cards for donations at local bars to raise money for Christmas for Kids, a program that collects names of needy children and fundraises for gifts.

“We have connected with local bars in town and with the support of Lefty’s, Charley’s, Hiawatha, Torge’s, Fresco Joe’s and The Ville, and with Hy-Vee letting us come in and sell the cards there to raise funds,” said Danielle Nesvold, Jaycees president. “Our shining star, Connie Smith of The Ville, has raised over $700 on her own.

“The outcome is something that has blown us away, putting us in tears knowing that the patrons of the bars, the shoppers at the grocery store and us know that when it is for the kids it pulls us together to make the Christmas they deserve happen,” Nesvold said.

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The chapter is collecting donations until Wednesday, and pulling names off the Sharing Tree and connecting with the Parenting Resource Center, who organizes Christmas for Kids each year.

Wal-Mart of Austin heard of the Jaycees’ fundraising efforts and matched the $1,000 raised thus far. Jaycees and their children shopped for Christmas gifts Sunday at Wal-Mart, and plan to buy more after their Wednesday fundraising deadline.

“I was overwhelmed with tears with this generous donation,” Nesvold said of Wal-Mart’s contribution. “Now more than 20 kids will get a wonderful Christmas.”