Neighbors

A Note To Readers: This Holiday Season You Can Help Bring Cheer


Publisher Tom Sofield.

A major police incident draws a large amount of responders and an arrest – we are there.

School boards redefine the area by closing neighborhood schools – we are there.

The community gathers for one of the local parades  – we are there.

One of the most talked about local elections in years – we are there and produce more than 100 articles.

A countywide nonprofit hosts its annual Holiday Gift Card Drive to help older kids and teens – we are there.

As a news organization and small business based in the community, our responsibility is to be a community beacon, inform our readers, and work with the local businesses and the nonprofit community.

For the fifth year, we’re working to fulfill that mission and have teamed up to help support the United Way of Bucks County’s Holiday Gift Card Drive that helps older kids and teens who are often left behind during the season. Support from our generous readers and others have provided gift cards for shops and eateries popular with older kids and teens over the past few years.

I first heard of the United Way of Bucks County’s Holiday Gift Card Drive when we launched LevittownNow.com and was struck by the stories relayed from the team behind the program. Tweens and teens from Bucks County families who are in need watch their younger siblings open gifts generously donated to a toy drive and then often don’t receive something age appropriate or just not anything at all. Often times, they were just a bit too old for toys and finances are tight around home.

Thinking back fondly on my Christmas memories growing up, the goal of the Holiday Gift Card Drive hit me.

Ideally, the holidays should be a time for Bucks Countians to forget their troubles, count their blessings, and gather with friends and family to enjoy a hot meal and exchange gifts. For children and teens, there’s even more to the season. They look to this season to deliver something bright. A surprise, even as simple as a gift card, will be able to deliver a bit of that this year. Sadly, unlike the Christmas morning that many woke up to growing up, the season can serve as a bleak reminder of financial hardships, personal loss, and unfulfilled wishes for many older kids and teens.

Danielle Bush of the United Way of Bucks County told me there are more than 1,100 older kids and teens who are on their list this year. And that list is likely to expand as the holiday grows ever closer.

When I spoke with Bush on Tuesday evening, the number of donations by the afternoon were enough to provide gift cards to about 175 older kids and teens. That means donations are still needed to provide a small gift to 925 older kids and teens.

The good news is there is still time to donate. The deadline is Friday, December 14.

The Holiday Gift Card Drive accepts gift cards of all denominations. Financial donations are also gladly welcomed.

As someone who personally works hard to support local charitable efforts, I understand there are a lot of worthy causes to donate to this year, and we’re grateful for any contribution.

This year, I hope you’ll share a little bit of your good fortune.

Season’s greetings!

Tom Sofield
Publisher, LevittownNow.com & NewtownPANow.com


About the author

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield has covered news in Bucks County for five years for both newspaper and online publications. In 2012, Tom was honored at the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association Foundation's Keystone Press Awards for his coverage of President Obama's visit to Falls Township in 2011. When he's not covering news in the area, Tom enjoys checking out the newest restaurants and bars, exploring forgotten places of industry in the area, going to local parks and spending time with his friends and family. If there's one thing you should know about Tom, he is a local news junkie through and through. Email: tom@newtownpanow.com Phone: 215-431-1001