A year ago, Seymour’s Share Your Christmas (SYC) program helped 18 families, which included 76 individuals, as well as 10 residents at Glenwood Healthcare, the local nursing home.

This year, that number is up to 20 families, covering 82 individuals, as all but one of the 21 applications for the holiday-help program were approved.

“When broken down by age, SYC will help 33 adults and 49 kids this Christmas,” said Bob Crump, chairman of the longtime program sponsored by the Seymour Lions Club for families within the boundaries of the Seymour R-II School District.

Entering the first week of December, Crump said the top needs for the program include:

1. Monetary donations.

2. Gift sponsors for families.

Helping either way is easy to do.

To give financial help to SYC — with that money used to purchase turkeys, perishable food and hygiene items for the food baskets given to each family — it’s as simple as writing a check or giving a cash donation to any Seymour Lions Club member.

Donations can be mailed to the club at P.O. Box 235, Seymour, Mo. 65746.

“As of today, we’ve received nine cash donations,” Crump said just before the Thanksgiving holiday. “We’re ahead of our typical pace on donations, but there’s still a need.”

To sponsor a family, the process is as simple as visiting HomePride Bank in Seymour or The Seymour Bank and removing a sponsorship ornament (envelope) from the two Lions’ Christmas trees set up in each bank.

On the ornaments are members of each family and their respective needs, such as clothing or toys for young children.

Sponsors are asked to purchase the needed items, which will be distributed to the families just before Christmas.

“The ornaments now are on the trees at both banks,” Crump said.

“There is a needs list and a wish list (for each family) on all of the ornaments.”

Crump noted that nine of the families approved for SYC help this year didn’t ask for anything for the adults.

“They just wanted help for the children,” he said. “To me, this was a very unselfish act, especially for a family in need as winter sets in.”

He added that for many, if not all, of the families approved for SYC assistance, this is the only type of Christmas they will receive.

“I know that I say this every year, but it’s amazing how supportive the Seymour community has been of this program over the past three decades,” Crump said.

He said the food drives at the Seymour R-II School District will begin this week.

“We’re kicking off the non-perishable food drive at the

Seymour Elementary School for pre-school through fifthgrade students on Thursday, with the collection of the items to start on Friday,” he explained.

“Once the food drive is completed at the end of the next week, the winning class will receive a free pizza party from the Lions Club, and the teacher of that class will receive an additional $50 for classroom needs.”

Crump said this year’s SYC program has five new, first-time families.

“We’ll also be working in the next week to secure any residents at Glenwood without families this Christmas to provide them help,” he concluded. “A year ago, we helped 10 at Glenwood ... I would assume somewhere around that same number will be helped this year.”

For more information on the Seymour SYC program, call Crump at 417-935-4039.

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