Weather delays C-CAP effort

Posted: December 11, 2013

The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — The president of Congregational-Community Action Project (C-CAP) is determined not to let this week’s snow and ice storms act like the Grinch for hundreds of local children in need.

The inclement weather has twice delayed the nonprofit group’s annual Christmas giveaway, which was originally scheduled for Monday and Tuesday in the Family Life Center at Mount Carmel Baptist Church, 1317 S. Pleasant Valley Road. It is now scheduled for today and Thursday.

Early Tuesday morning, people were lined up at the church to “shop” for Christmas presents for their children, only to be sent home when snow started falling hours later.

“They were already lining up [at 1:30],” C-CAP President Fran Ricketts said.

There is no snow in the forecast for today or Thursday.

At the giveaway — which is now set for 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. today and 8 a.m. to noon Thursday — parents, guardians and designated substitutes can choose Christmas gifts for their children.

“We have 300 families that signed up for help with Christmas,” Ricketts said. “We have toys, we have household gadgets and appliances and goodies. Everybody gets a goody bag.”

Those goody bags include toilet paper and paper towels, “and all kinds of things they normally can’t afford to buy.”

“Every child gets a coat [in the goody bag],” Ricketts added. “Every family gets a blanket and a ham.”

There are many toys for parents to choose from, she said.

“Some slightly loved and slightly used, but you can’t really tell it,” Ricketts said. “There’s about 700 children that they will be shopping for. We try to cater to the 11- to 17[-year-olds] because the Salvation Army takes care of the little guys.”

The giveaway used to take place at C-CAP’s facility at 112 S. Kent St., but it got too big, Ricketts said. “It seems to get bigger and bigger every year.”

She added that everything “going out that door tomorrow and Thursday came in because of the generosity of this wonderful community. It’s the gift they bring to us.”

— Contact Sally Voth at