“Merry Christmas! And thank you for the wonderful stocking that brought this warm feeling in my heart. Thank you and God bless you for all the hard work you put in on doing this. Thank you for not forgetting about us.”
“There are some people in here that don’t have friends or family to help them through these hard times. Sometimes even the smallest things can make the biggest differences.”
“I really appreciated all the effort, care and thoughtfulness that was put into the stockings and extended to me. It really means a lot to me to know that people care and are thinking about me.”
 'I’ve been having a hard time dealing with doing time. And your gift to me, helped to lift my spirits up! I really enjoyed the spiritual pamphlet that came in the stocking.”
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snickersunday
Snicker Sunday!

Many area churches participated in Snicker Sunday to collect Snickers bars (2.07oz) to put into the Christmas Stockings for the incarcerated.

Snicker Sunday is held in October. For more information please contact Jessica at 402-341-6559 x100.

ChristmasStockings Project

 

In early Spring, when most people are thinking about planting gardens, cleaning out their garages, and the approaching April 15 tax deadline, HELP Adult Services has already begun plans to fill 3,000 Christmas stockings.  For decades this traditional program has been orchestrated by HELP Adult Services and supported area-wide by Presbyterian churches, volunteers, and a variety of commercial donors.

 

What is the Christmas stockings program? Annually, in mid-December, stockings filled with goodies are given to the intended recipients—incarcerated adults and youth residing in 11 area detention centers. Many times this will be the only gift they will receive.

 

Endless yards of Christmas-patterned fabrics are gathered at after-Christmas sales every year with the help of local Presbyterian volunteers, many from the Presbyterian Woman’s Groups. The fabric is then cut and sewn into stockings according to regulation and delivered to HELP Adult Services.  All year the festive stack of Christmas stockings develops like a fast-growing evergreen. 

 

Although the Christmas Stockings project is considered to be a “once a year” project, extensive behind-the-scenes planning indicates otherwise.  As one stocking seamstress claimed, “Yes, this project is once a year…all year”.

 

Each prison location has its own lists of allowable items which must be checked against contraband lists.  Unacceptable items may change year-to-year and may include anything foil-wrapped, bar soap, and shampoo in non-clear containers. Beef jerky sticks and crackers are favorites.

 

By mid-March, or early Spring, confirmation of continuing support is pursued with an annual network of individual and commercial discount donors.  HELP purchases 3-5 items per stocking in the form of acceptable food items or donations.  Although paying one dollar per item may seem trivial at first, it quickly adds up to $4.00 per stocking—or $12,000.00!

 

Like clockwork, in early December, a large group of volunteers meets for fun and filling the festive stockings assembly-line style in two of the facilities in Omaha and Clarinda.