SCOTIA – The village of Scotia has kicked off a new Christmas Eve Luminary fundraiser to help support Scotia Relief, a nonprofit organization which assists local residents in need.
According to Village Trustee Justin Cook, lighting a luminary on Christmas Eve is a tradition in a number of village neighborhoods.
“The idea stemmed from Washington Road, the residents there putting out luminarias and I wanted to spread it around the entire village,” Cook said. “It’s not just about spreading, I guess you could say the light of Christmas to welcome Santa, but it’s also a really good opportunity to support a local charity that does a lot to help village residents that are dealing with an unexpected tragedy.”
Luminary kits are sold for a $5 donation to Scotia Relief, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit which assists locals in need of daily living supplies. The luminary kits are available at Village Hall during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The kits include the white luminaria bag, a battery powered LED light, and a bag of sand.
“The bag of sand goes in the bottom of the luminaria bag to keep it from blowing away at night,” Cook said. “So they pick up their bag, there’s a little note from Scotia Relief about what Scotia Relief [does] and what their donation goes to support. Then they put it out on Christmas Eve. One of the things I look forward to seeing is all the village streets lit up with the light of the holiday.”
Cook hopes to be able to raise a “significant amount of money,” at least $1,000, from this first year of the Christmas Eve luminaria fundraiser. Cook said he personally donated the first round of 200 luminaria bags.
“My hope is that residents come to the village hall and I have to order more bags,” Cook said. “We started off with 200, but based on the response we’ve been getting both online and from phone calls I’ve received, I have a funny feeling we’re going to be ordering more than 200 bags.”
Scotia Relief has been assisting local residents for over 80 years. The all-volunteer organization started during the Great Depression and currently supports between 50 to 60 families and residents annually. Scotia Relief assists those who reside within the Scotia-Glenville Central School District, and provides vouchers to help families and residents purchase food, clothing, heating fuel and school supplies.
“The holidays are a time of giving, it’s a time of kindness,” Cook said. “In a world where sometimes it feels as though people are struggling, that there is an avenue for the village of Scotia to give back and really help one another. That’s really the strength of our community, that we’re a close-knit community, where neighbors help neighbors.”
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