More than just a once-a-year event, The Christmas Gala is a non-profit, volunteer-run organization based in Bucks County that focuses on the gift of giving all year.
Founded by Cheryl Campbell nine years ago, this organization began as a ‘family and friends’ function hosted at Cheryl’s home every year, and has largely expanded to spread cheer and offer assistance to seniors across the county.
“We really focus on the idea that the gift of giving is all year ‘round, not just during the holidays,” said Cheryl. “Especially if someone doesn’t have family – we want them to feel they aren’t alone.”
With the belief that giving isn’t seasonal, The Christmas Gala focuses on lending a hand to local seniors by filling personalized needs in the community.
“One thing that sets us apart is we don’t just hand out generic gifts,” Cheryl said. “We personalize each gift for specific needs in our community.”
The Christmas Gala is dependent on the hard work of their volunteers and the generosity of the community to continue their wide reach of programs.
A lot of their programs are created from whatever they have available.
“Somebody donates to us, and we turn their donation into a program,” Cheryl said.
The Christmas Gala is all-encompassing regarding the needs of seniors.
Programs include Angel Gifts, ongoing throughout the year to provide Bucks County seniors with new Christmas gifts; the Pen Pal program kicking up again in January, where seniors and school-age children exchange letters; E.C.H.O.S. and E.P.I.C. programs to offer extra care and help for seniors and immediate care for extraordinary problems.
Angel Gifts creates partnerships where participating businesses place a tree in their office and people take an “angel,” purchase the items requested, and return everything back to the business.
“I’ve started to be known as ‘the lady with the tree’ around town,” says Cheryl.
Last year, approximately $42,000 in product was received and 1,300 gifts were given to the community with the help of numerous organizations extending far beyond Bucks County.
This year 25 organizations are putting out their angel trees – two based in New Jersey and one from Mercer County.
The E.C.H.O.S. and E.P.I.C. programs are geared toward providing assistance and relief regarding significant cases.
“We try to find an unusual, unique need in the community and fulfill it.”
To wrap up the year full of giving, The Christmas Gala will celebrate with their ninth annual signature event this December 2nd with a theme of ‘Winter Woodland’ Gala, at Westaby Hall, 425 Hood Boulevard in Fairless Hills.
The Gala includes dinner, dessert table, beer, soda, cash bar, raffles, and a DJ with your $40 donation.
Santa stopped by last year and is expected to make an appearance again. The Christmas Gala’s central location is 1228 Radcliffe Street in Bristol.
For tickets to the Gala or more information on this non-profit, visit www.thechristmasgala.com or contact Cheryl at 267-549-7602 and discover all the ways you can contribute to making the community a more generous place throughout the year.
PHOTO CAP: Cheryl Campbell