Local News

Red Stocking annual Christmas program returns in Ottawa, Streator

Deadline nears to submit names of children in need

The Times’ Red Stocking annual Christmas fund drive is underway to take care of children in need in the area.

The fund, which first launched in 1923, raises money to buy Christmas gifts for children ages 12 and younger in The Times area. The annual goal is to raise $62,000 to help local low-income families celebrate the holiday with their children.

Red Stocking donations are used for toys, games, books and food items that go directly to children who are registered by parents, family members or friends. Funds are not used for administrative or staffing expenses. All labor associated with gift preparation and delivery is volunteer-based.

Donations are not solicited door-to-door but are delivered or mailed to The Times’ office in Ottawa. To donate, clip out the Red Stocking Donor Information coupon published in The Times and mail it with a check to Red Stocking, c/o The Times, 110 W. Jefferson St., Ottawa, IL 61350.

Names of all donors will be published in the paper at a future date.

After a 2020 hiatus in gift delivery caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the delivery program has returned for 2021. Distribution of this year’s gifts will be Saturday, Dec. 11. Volunteers bring presents directly to registered families’ homes. An adult should be at the home that morning to collect the delivery.

The deadline to submit names of children in need is Saturday, Dec. 4. This deadline is strictly enforced. To register children for gift delivery, fill out the Red Stocking Fund form with the family’s address, phone number, names of each child age 12 or younger, and gender.

To ensure forms arrive on time before Saturday’s deadline, deliver them to The Times office during its office hours 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3. If the office is closed, place them in the mail slot to the lower left of The Times front door. Names will not be accepted by email or over the phone.

Red Stocking does not deliver gifts to the La Salle-Peru or Spring Valley area at this time.