EAST ALTON — United Way’s annual Community Christmas kicked off this month collecting monetary donations to purchase needed items for people in need across the Riverbend community this holiday season. The program collects donations through December 11. Donations can be made online at HelpingPeople.org/Christmas2020.

This year, to keep staff, volunteers and participants safe, Community Christmas will raise funds to purchase gifts and essential items for local people in need that will be distributed to Riverbend area nonprofits, rather than collecting items directly. All of the proceeds raised will go directly to 16 local agencies to purchase items like blankets, coats and clothing, diapers and baby items and personal care items.

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“The need in the Riverbend community is greater than ever before, with so many facing serious challenges stemming from the COVID-19 crisis,” said Maura Wuellner, director of the Southwest Illinois Division of United Way. “Each year, the Riverbend community comes together in a big way for Community Christmas, and I am confident we can once again make a great impact. Every dollar we raise will go towards purchasing necessary items that not only brighten the holidays for children and families, but also help meet their basic needs.”

All donations will be distributed to the following agencies to purchase items that will help people in the community during the holiday season and beyond:

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  • 100 Black Men – Alton Branch
  • Boys and Girls Club of Alton
  • Caritas Family Solutions
  • Catholic Children’s Home
  • Centerstone
  • Crisis Food Center
  • Illinois Center for Autism
  • Madison County Urban League
  • Oasis Women’s Center
  • Operation Blessing
  • Riverbend Family Ministries
  • Riverbend Head Start Family Services
  • Village of Royal Lakes

Monetary donations can be made online at HelpingPeople.org/Christmas2020 or mailed to United Way at 707 Berkshire Blvd., Suite 270, East Alton, IL 62024, marked Attn: Community Christmas.

About United Way of Greater St. Louis

United Way of Greater St. Louis mobilizes the community with one goal in mind — helping people live their best possible lives. Located throughout 16 counties in Missouri and Illinois, United Way helps people in the region build a foundation for a good quality of life through basic needs, financial stability, education, health and strong communities. For more information, contact 314-421-0700

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