Christmas Charities Year Round

By Hilary Gould –Executive Director

In 1949, Milton K. Cummings founded the organization known today as Christmas Charities Year Round, to provide clothing and Christmas gifts for the farming families whose crops were destroyed by a boll weevil infestation.  Fast forward 72 years, and CCYR continues to provide for the those in need throughout the Huntsville community.  CCYR’s mission is to improve the quality of life year-round for Madison County residents at or below the area median income or in emergent need by providing program services, at no-cost.

Visiting the CCYR center might feel like a thrift store, but all of the donated items are given back to community members in need without charge through a variety of programs.

The Clothing Program provides for infants to adults.  Clients are invited to “shop” from the clothing rooms stocked with new and gently used donated clothing and apparel.  During the summer months, school supplies and new backpacks are provided to all school aged children.

The Mobile Closet is an outreach program traveling to schools throughout Huntsville and Madison County,  delivering clothing, age appropriate hygiene items and school supplies directly to students in need.  Collaboration with school counselors ensures that all children have access to basic necessities.

The Furniture Program provides basic furniture needs such as donated mattresses, box springs in good condition and dressers. Collaboration with local organizations to provide furnishings to those moving from a homeless situation, regaining custody of their children, or who have suffered a catastrophic loss.

The Waste Not Program is a medical equipment reuse program. Throughout 2021, over $132,000 worth of donated medical equipment, such as wheelchairs, shower chairs and other assistive medical technology  was provided to clients in need from across North Alabama

The Recycling Program accepts all kinds of worn-out clothes and textiles, which are upcycled.  Each year over 240,000 textiles are kept out of landfills, helping to make our world a greener place.

Operation Believe is the Christmas program CCYR is famous for.  During the 2020 Pandemic winter season, CCYR provided new toys, gifts, and food packages to over 712 children from 276 families and 46 seniors. 

This local organization relies upon the generosity of the community. CCYR is a United Way partner and receives some funding through United Way’s annual campaign and their efforts with the CFC.   Grants, corporate sponsors, and individual donors are CCYR’s only revenue source .  A combination of volunteers, a small passionate staff, and a driven board of directors keeps Milton’s vision alive and helps to improve the qualify of life for so many in need throughout our shared community.

To learn more about CCYR, check out the website at www.CCYR.org

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