November 3, 2011

Programs aim to help Hatteras families at Christmas

Christmas this year on Hatteras Island is going to be rough for many Hatteras Island families who homes and belongings were washed away or damaged by Hurricane Irene in August.

Most of the physical damage was in the villages of Avon, Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo, but families in the southern villages will also be feeling the financial squeeze of either being out of work for weeks after the storm or being laid off early for the winter.

As usual, the annual drive is under to stock the Hatteras Island Food Pantry, and this year two Cape Hatteras Secondary School students have a project underway to replace the Christmas decorations of at least 30 island families.

In addition, Hatteras Island will again have an Angel Tree project -- organized by a coalition of churches, businesses, and individuals – to bring Christmas to children in need on the island. Sponsored children receive clothing and gifts.

The coalition coordinates with Toys for Tots and the Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative’s Operation Santa Claus program. The Dare County Department of Social Service assists in receiving applications and facilitating donations.

Individual children and families can be sponsored. Contact Dare Social Services at 252-475-9320 or Megan Vayette at 252-216-7176 to sponsor a family. 

For information on specific toy requests, see the Angel Tree Facebook page at You will be directed where to drop off or mail your presents for specific requests.

Monetary donations to the Angel Tree can be mailed to Our Lady of the Seas Catholic Church, ATTN: Angel Tree, P.O. Box 399, Buxton, NC 27920.

Toys for Tots has several drop-off sites on Hatteras, and all donations collected on the island are distributed here.

For Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative’s Operation Santa Claus, you can drop off toys at the Buxton office on Light Plant Road.  Items can also be shipped to CHEC, 47109 Light Plant Road, Buxton, NC 27920. Monetary donations can be sent to CHEC with Operation Santa Claus in the memo line, P.O. Box 9, Buxton, NC 27920.

Little Grove United Methodist Church is collecting new coats, hats, and gloves for distribution on the island.  For information, contact Pastor Cory Oliver at 252-996-0256. Monetary donations can be sent to Hatteras UMC, P.O. Box 310, Hatteras, NC 27943.

The Hands of Love organization plans to provide “sparkle bags” and Christmas dinners for families. Mail donations to Hands of Love, P.O. Box 43, Frisco, NC 27936.  Contact Kim Martin at 252-996-0919 for more information.

And, finally, Dare Social Services coordinates gifts for older and disabled adults and foster children. Contact DSS at 252-475-5500.

If people need assistance with Christmas, they can complete a form at Dare County Social Services in Frisco or request one from a school counselor at either Cape Hatteras Elementary School or Cape Hatteras Secondary School. The counselors agreed to help this year because of the anticipated need among families who may not normally receive assistance through the agency. If a family is not able to pick up an application, they may request one to be mailed by calling 475-9320.

 All information is kept confidential and private. Sponsored families are assigned a number before their "needs" and "wants" are distributed to sponsors.  Volunteers working directly with distribution and planning sign a confidentiality agreement.

 Comments are always welcomed!

     Subject :

     Name :  (required)

     Email :  (required, will not be published)

     City :   (required)    State :   (required)

     Your Comments:

May be posted on the Letters to the Editor page at the discretion of the editor.