Donations for Share the Season rose slightly in 2016.
The program, intended to help people with unexpected needs, raised $258,060 from 1,009 donors, according to Shelly Prichard, president and CEO of the Wichita Community Foundation. That’s up from $223,700 in 2015.
The money helped 143 families.
Share the Season is a local nonprofit effort coordinated by the Wichita Community Foundation, the Salvation Army and The Wichita Eagle. It offers one-time assistance to people affected by hardships such as job loss or illness.
Since it began in 2000, Share the Season has raised more than $2.6 million to help more than 3,100 families.
In the first several years of the program, the Wichita Community Foundation provided seed money to help the campaign. In more recent years, contributions have continued to pour in after the holiday season. Some of that money has been used to help people with unexpected needs at other times of the year.
The program continues to receive two or three donations a day, Prichard said Wednesday.
One recipient of help from Share the Season had outstanding medical bills from vision problems and a knee surgery and was behind on her utility bills. In a thank you note, she wrote that she had been in need of a miracle.
“With the payment of these bills, I will be able to save enough funds to enable me to relocate to a safer apartment building, and the peace and comfort I have been so needing will become present in my life,” she wrote. “Your kind and caring support and generosity has brought a wonderful change into my life. I will be forever grateful.”