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Christmas Gifts for Children program marches on

SHUTTERSTOCK ILLUSTRATION


By AMBER GINTER
Southern Ohio Today

During typical holiday seasons, people crowd into retail stores to find those perfect gifts for loved ones and friends.

As 2020 has changed norms across the board, the Christmas season will be no different. That makes the work of people like Paige Cisco all the more important.

Cisco is an employee at Fluor-BWXT, a contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy, and is part of a nearly 30-year-old program where employees at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant gather Christmas gifts for children of needy families in Pike, Jackson, Ross, Scioto and other regional counties.

“I wanted to ensure that local families have a Christmas they will not forget,” Cisco said. “All of these counties have different contacts to help with the donation process, but what matters is that those with needs have their needs met.” 

Cisco, a process operator for Fluor-BWXT, is a Waverly High School graduate and she said her desire to help others comes from a desire to give back to a community that poured support into her.

“I have a compassion for helping others and what better way than to help with the school and county that gave so much to me,” she said.

The program has grown to assist more than 3,000 children each year. Cisco said she hopes the program can grow even more to ensure than as many children can be helped as possible.

“Others can help by informing others about the program,” Cisco said. “People can also donate to the program or sponsor a child or a family,” Cisco said. 

Cisco said the challenges of 2020 have been widespread to families in the region and she believes the program can not only provide assistance to them, but can also bring joy to their children as well as the struggling parents.

“2020 has been an especially rough year for a lot of people,” Cisco said. “They need help. I also think it is an excellent way to bring people together.”

To sponsor a child or make a donation, contact Program Coordinator Gary Crandall at (740) 835-6909 or Cisco at (740) 222-4046.Attachments area

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