Red Stocking Helps the Needy
The Red Stocking Fund distributes food vouchers for Thanksgiving and again in March, but the big push comes for the winter holidays. Its roots date to 1938, when Mrs. Harris M. Crist asked her friends to fill six red stockings with gifts for needy children.
Red Stocking holds benefit events throughout the year to support its work, including the annual chowder festival in Edgartown. The Vineyard Harley Riders last year raised $17,000 in their Toys for Tots Run. All monies raised are used strictly for clothing and food according to fund co-director Kerry Alley. Toy donations are accepted from other sources.
Close to 300 children from over 175 families receive food and gifts through the Red Stocking Fund, and the list grows every year. Confidentiality is critical to the operation. Parents provide a list of their children's most needed clothing and hoped for toys; each child is then assigned an identification number that allows volunteers to match the right gift packages with the right people. Each package includes several major items of clothing, like a jacket or sweater, in addition to pajamas, socks, underwear and mittens, four or five toys and a book donated by the Bunch of Grapes Bookstore.
In mid-December a group of volunteers gathers in the Parish Hall and Nave of Grace Church to begin wrapping gifts, making sure that children waking up on Christmas morning find colorful packages adorned with ribbons and bows.
For more information contact Kerry Alley at 508-693-2324 or Lorraine Clark at 508-693-0725. Checks in support of the Red Stocking Fund may be mailed to:
Susan Wallo, Treasurer