SANTA Claus came to town with lots of toys and goodies for the good little boys and girls (and OK, the naughty ones as well).
The readers of the Charleston Daily Mail delivered something better that will last throughout the year and change hundreds of lives forever. The gifts include:
n Hearing aids so a 28-year-old mother can listen to professors as she earns a college degree in the hope of lifting her family out of poverty.
n Winter clothes for the children — a teenager and a toddler — of a recovering alcoholic.
n New teeth for a 76-year-old woman.
n An electric stove for a paralyzed man.
n Replacements for some of the belongings for a mother and her two children whose home was destroyed in a fire. She gets by on a minimum wage job and receives no food stamps or other assistance.
The list goes on of ordinary but essential gifts readers purchased and gave this Christmas to deserving people in our community. Since 1961, readers have donated more than $4 million to the Daily Mail's Neediest Cases Appeal.
Readers meet the needs the government's social safety net cannot provide.
The appeal is simple. From Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve, the newspaper publishes accounts of the neediest of these cases and readers respond with donations. Not only will every published need be filled but hundreds of others will as well, roughly 300 this year.
Earlier, social workers from 13 agencies forwarded real cases with real needs. The United Way's Information and Referral office helps vet these cases and the Daily Mail collects the money to fill these needs. Every penny readers send goes to fill these needs. The newspaper absorbs all administrative costs.
But readers provide these gifts, and the Daily Mail thanks its readers for their generosity.
The Daily Mail will continue to accept donations through the end of the year. Checks may be mailed to: Daily Mail Neediest Cases Appeal, 1001 Virginia St., E., Charleston, WV 25301