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Last updated 9:34PM ET
June 19, 2018
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Darlene Carpenter is the 2013 Bath County Christmas Mother
(wvmr) - Darlene Carpenter of Ashwood is the 2013 Bath Christmas Mother. The Christmas Mother program is in its 21st year of providing help to the residents of Bath County during the holiday season.

"Well, I feel honored to have been asked to be the Christmas Mother this year," says Carpenter. "And I have to admit, before I started helping in the Christmas Mother shop, I knew there was a need in the community but I didn't know to what extent. When I saw the need for warm coats and food and heating fuel and socks and toys for children on Christmas morning then I realized at that point that these applicants they were putting their needs first, not their wishes."

Last year the program served 300 residents and seventeen nursing home residents. And it also provided gift bags to an additional sixty nursing home residents. The main focus of the Christmas Mother program is children and senior citizens.

"It's a volunteer organization and it focuses on the applicants' needs first," says Carpenter. "It relies solely on donations from individuals, businesses, county agencies, schools, civic and church organizations and friends both near and far. The program helps provide warm clothes, household items, food, fuel assistance, when funds are available for the fuel, to an individual or family in need during the cold holiday season. And we also want to say that our program follows federal guidelines for these individuals and families who apply for the assistance."

You can help by adopting an individual or a family and purchasing needed items. You can also make a tax deductible monetary donation. And volunteers are needed to shop for items and to wrap items at the Christmas Mother shop, which opens December 2nd. Or you can set up a food or a toy collection site.

Carpenter started helping with the program last year when she served as manager at the Christmas Mother shop.

"There's a lot of work that people don't realize that comes through," says Carpenter. "The needs of the people being number one and so much generosity from the community and other people not in this community, as donors as well. You know, it just all comes together. It is just a wonderful experience."

The program is now getting underway for this year. Applications for assistance are being accepted October 16th, 17th, 21st and 22nd.

To get more information on the Christmas Mother program, including information on the application process, contact Darlene Carpenter at 540-679-9682.

And monetary donations can be sent to the Bath Christmas Mother at PO Box 292, Hot Springs, VA 24445.

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