Project Christmas week begins in Jackson County

Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 7:06 PM CST
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BLACK RIVER FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) - Jackson County volunteers are spending this week wrapping presents for others through Project Christmas of Jackson County, Inc.

Project Christmas of Jackson County, Inc. is a nonprofit providing food vouchers and gifts to families in Jackson County this holiday season. The organization is supporting 380 families this year.

“We are doing gift wrapping and it’s going to be happening most of this week,” Deb Horan, President of Project Christmas of Jackson County, Inc. said. “We’ve got different groups coming in and they are coming at different times during the day and they’re wrapping gifts.”

The wrapping is taking place at the Jackson Electric Cooperative, which is allowing the organization to use its heated garage. For this, the cooperative cleared out their garage for the week. Volunteers are wrapping gifts for hundreds of children in Jackson County.

“We give gifts from birth to age to 18,” Horan said. “We have about close to 700 gifts that we’re giving to children.”

One of the volunteers is Jean Hagenbrock, who started helping with Project Christmas years ago. She had to take a break when her husband became ill, and now she said she’s excited to start again.

“This is the first project that I totally wanted back into. I totally love helping people and there’s so many in the community that appreciates this and just makes people happy,” Hagenbrock said.

As Project Christmas week continues, Horan said they will have hundreds of volunteers.

“Our community has been overly generous with their time, with their finances, their donations. I mean, it’s been incredible,” Horan said.

Hagenbrock agreed with those sentiments.

“Every community could probably use something like this and it just gets bigger and bigger every year,” Hagenbrock said.

Volunteers of all ages take part in Project Christmas.

“We have kids that start doing this when they’re young, and many of those same children grow up and participate in Project Christmas, as far as donating their time, donating money,” Horan said.

On Saturday, volunteer drivers will drop off the gifts at homes around Jackson County, finishing up Project Christmas this year. Project Christmas is funded solely by donations, which go back into the program each year.