WATERVILLE, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- For over 50 years, the Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers has donated hundreds of thousands of Christmas gifts to children in need across the state but this year, they are running into a few obstacles.
“Sometimes I don’t go to sleep. I go home and I’m thinking, okay what do I have to do tomorrow,” said Debbie Plummer. “Once it’s in your heart, it’s in your heart for good.”
She has been a full time volunteer at the Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers for the last 6 years. She said she does not plan on stopping anytime soon.
“It’s not a matter of putting in hours to get self-gratification, it’s what we see comes back from the community to the community,” she said.
Every day she helps collect and package Christmas boxes for children in need. And sometimes even her four year-old-grandson, Alex, gets in on the action.
“We have volunteers that come with their children and help pack boxes and they have tears in their eyes saying, ‘mommy, this little boy could use this. This little boy would like that. This little girl would like that dolly.’ It just melts your heart,” said Plummer.
With over 17 hundred kids to provide for this Christmas, she is going to need a lot more hands.
“There’s always a need for volunteers, there’s always something to do,” she said.
But that’s not the biggest obstacle they face this Christmas.
4- I don’t want some little kid waking up on Christmas morning wondering why Santa forgot them.
Program director, Steve Mayberry, says there has been a lack of donations… especially for kids between the ages of 5 and 12.
The program is completely funded by donations from the community. Without their support, Mayberry, fears there will not be any presents under the tree for some kids this year.
“In order to pull this off for that number of children, you’re talking about an inventory worth about a quarter of a million dollars of new items,” he said.
In each box, a child will receive books, toys, and of course warm clothing. For younger children, the inventory is overflowing but for the older kids, there’s barely anything.
To make sure everyone gets a visit from Santa this year, organizers are asking for your help…
“The least little thing to these children who are very needy, are so appreciative,” said Plummer.
To volunteer or to donate to the Maine children’s Home for Little Wanderers, click here.