Centralia Fireside Guard

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Hubbell volunteers help local families, students

Posted on Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 3:12 pm

Employees of Hubbell-Centralia are still doing their part to bring the “merry” in “Merry Christmas,” to some Centralia familes who could use a little help this Christmas season.

Typically, Christmas season sees Hubbell office employees teaming up students from the Centralia R-VI Champion Academy and members of the Centralia Chamber of Commerce to fill “Buddy Packs” with donated food to supply familes with enough for at least a Christmas dinner and meals for the rest of the school district’s Christmas Break.

Due to Coronavirus concerns that was not possible.

“We wanted to do what we could to help,” said long time program organizer, Hubbells’s Richard Dickerson. “We realized the getting together with each other and the Champion Academy Students to stuff and load Buddy Packs just would not pass muster with the County Health Department. So we came up with something else.”

Besides the Buddy Packs Hubbell office employees were able to raise enough money and collect enough gifts to help to help three local families enjoy a full Christmas.

Beyond that is where the “something els came in.,

In this case something else was working gift cards, specifically Dollar General gift cars.

Dickerson explained, in a note to the Centralia Fireside Guard,  Hubbell employees and friends donated enough to enable the R-VI School Distirct to be able to assist 38 local students with $10 to $15 Dollar General cards. Dickerson said their goal was fund at least 35.

Richard Dickerson, left, with two of his children who helped with the project, Kyland and Kyra

Dickerson wrote: “The Dollar General Gift Card Drive was a smashing success last year!  This program serves the students 6th thru 12th grades in the school district.  Why DG Gift Cards you ask?  Throughout the school year the counseling departments have students with the most basic needs come to them for help.  When I say basic, I mean things like toothbrushes, deodorant, bath soap, socks and underwear with one of the biggest requests being feminine hygiene products.  This is not a holiday time problem; this is an everyday problem,” Dickerson, who is married to CHS Conselor Charla Dickerson, and is in a position to have more insight then some, continued. “When a child doesn’t have their basic daily needs met, it’s difficult to concentrate on math, reading, science and social studies.  Instead you are worried about having socks or underwear or being able to clean up or brush your teeth for the next day and embarrassed about who will know.  When these students come to the counselors, they can give the student a gift card with $10 to $15 dollars on it so they can go to the local Dollar General and purchase the items they need.”

From there, instead of addressing the Fireside Guard, he addressed its readers directly.

“You have given gift cards over the years to aid the families that we adopt…

We also adopted three families that totaled 10 children and filled their Christmas wishes… I’ve given those extra cards to the middle and high

Richard Dickerson handing off some of the presents to Ginny Zoellers, director of the Centralia Chamber of Commerce.

school counseling departments and they have rationed those 10 to 12 cards out through the school year.  These gifts you have been able to give over the last several years are priceless and go far beyond the holiday season.  The goal again this year is to collect 35 of the $10 to $15 gift cards.  That would provide one card for every week of the school year.  It’s a simple gift and it provides a basic need for a student that may have no other resource.  Purchase a gift card and drop it off at any of the drop off locations, give me a call or drop me an email and I’ll come fetch it from you.”