By Julie Huss
---- — There are only a few short weeks left before the holidays.
That means there is limited time to reach out and help those in need this holiday season.
The Derry News Santa Fund needs help this year to support hundreds of struggling families and individuals in Derry and Londonderry.
Donations are way down this year.
By this time last year, the Santa Fund had raised more than $4,000. As of Tuesday midday, only $1,360 has been collected.
“I’m really hoping the lag is because Thanksgiving was so late this year and that people will start donating,” Santa Fund administrator Cathy Dicampo said.
All money raised through the Santa Fund goes to support the Derry Community Fund and Londonderry efforts.
The Community Fund is collecting new toys at the Marion Gerrish Community Center for its annual family “shopping” event on Dec. 13 and 14.
Last year, more than 100 families were helped through Community Fund efforts.
Dicampo said area businesses, schools and organizations are always very generous with their support.
Special events are planned this season with the Santa Fund in mind.
The Greater Derry Londonderry Chamber of Commerce will host its second annual Holiday Wreath Stroll Dec. 10 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Cask and Vine, 1 E. Broadway.
Dozens of wreaths, donated and decorated by local businesses, will be up for auction, with proceeds to benefit the Santa Fund.
The Red Star Twirlers will once again present its holiday show to benefit the Santa Fund. This year’s performance is Saturday, Dec. 14, at 7 pm. at the Derry Opera House on West Broadway.
Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at Veterans Memorial Hall, Halligan Tavern or at the door. Last year, the baton group donated more than $600.
Dicampo hopes people will remember the Santa Fund when thinking about their holiday giving this year.
Tax-deductible donations can be dropped off at the Derry News office or mailed to: Derry News Santa Fund, 46 West Broadway, Derry, 03038.
Donations can be made online at derrynews.com.