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Santa Fund provides needed aid to Greene children

Most years, the Greene County school division allocates all of the Santa Fund money allotted it by the local United Way early in the school year.

The number of vouchers given out varies from year to year. Most years, the program provides between 200 and 215 vouchers; this year, it has provided 197. But all go to ensure that area children receive needed school supplies, clothing, medicine and glasses.

“These vouchers help students buy school supplies and, in some cases, clothing, as well,” said Amanda Cruey, a school social worker. “Basically, anything they may need to start the school year.”

Cruey said most students are referred to her at the beginning of the school year and most years they come very close to using all of the funding initially allotted them. Though most vouchers are used early on in the school year, she said some are also given out later, depending on the need.

“In several years past, we’ve provided vouchers to children from families that have lost their belongings in house fires, helping them buy new clothing and school supplies,” she said.

In such situations, Cruey said she can contact The United Way and request additional funding, depending on the families’ needs.

In Greene, 41% of the nearly 3,000 students this school year qualify for free or reduced-price meals or other forms of economic assistance.

Cruey said the Santa Fund vouchers meet a need in the community.

“The parents of these children usually have more than one child and are working hard to provide food and shelter,” she said. “These vouchers help meet needs that fall just outside of what the families are already providing their children.”

Cruey said Greene County is a generous community that works hard to help students in need.

In addition to Greene, the Santa Fund serves children in the city of Charlottesville and Albemarle, Fluvanna, Buckingham, Louisa, Madison, Nelson and Orange counties.

Contributions may be mailed to: Santa Fund, 806 E. High St., Charlottesville, VA 22902. Donations also may be made at thesantafund.org.

TODAY’S DONATIONS

» Anonymous, $1,000

» In memory of Jean Harmet, $100

» In hopes, again, for civility, equity and kindness in the new year, $200

» Martin and Lorisa Cooper, $500

Today’s total: $1,800

Running total: $182,293.47

Goal: $175,000

Over goal by: $7,293.47

Source: www.dailyprogress.com

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