Our Christmas Story
For over 40 years, The Rotary Club of Woodstock has been providing food baskets, toys and books the Saturday prior to the Christmas holiday to less fortunate families located within District 200 known as Christmas Clearing House. In the first year, 200 families in the community were served. With the growth of the community coupled with an increase of family hardships, The Rotary Club of Woodstock is now serving approximately 1,100 families & 2,000 children residing in the Woodstock and Wonder Lake areas each year.
Our annual fundraising goal is $50,000 to cover all event expenses. The Rotary Club of Woodstock attributes the success of Christmas Clearing House to local service organizations, community volunteers and kind-hearted donors who help year-after-year providing gifts of hope to those in need.
Kick-off for Christmas Clearing House begins Thanksgiving weekend where volunteers solicit cash donations outside designated local businesses. For toys and non-perishable food donations, barrels are placed throughout the community.
Woodstock’s Biggest Community Participation Project of the Year:
In early December, the Christmas Clearing House “workshop” location is set-up as the members of The Rotary Club of Woodstock begin spending countless hours receiving, sorting and organizing toy donations. On Wednesday and Thursday evenings, prior to Saturday delivery, hundreds of volunteers wait in line eager to lend a helping hand to begin packaging these holiday gifts – food for the table, plus a toy for every girl & boy!
On a cold Saturday morning, cars line up outside the Christmas Clearing House “workshop” ready for their front-wheel drive sleighs to be packed with care continuing a timeless family tradition or eager to start a new one. Each Christmas Clearing House recipient receives: a 10-12 lb. turkey with all the trimmings, canned goods, potatoes, bagged fruits, breakfast cereals/oatmeal, pasta, a loaf of bread, a gallon of milk along with other non-perishable items plus presents for each child. After deliveries are made, a “thank you” breakfast is held at the Moose Lodge for all drivers and volunteers.
Our community responds to this recurring need during the holiday season. In a matter of hours, hundreds of volunteers help make an estimate of 7 deliveries per minute showing Woodstock Cares!