Project Merry Christmas...."A Chance to Share"
Brief History of PMC
Project Merry Christmas (PMC) is an all volunteer organization whose purpose is to assist needy families, seniors, and disabled persons in La Plata County, who experience shortcomings in their lives during the holidays. PMC ‘s Christmas endeavors include the Angel/Bell Tree at the Durango Mall, adoption of families by community members and groups, and Holiday Donation Drives. PMC coordinates with local schools and social service agencies to help locate the needy in our county to avoid duplication of services with other organizations. PMC activities are guided by a working board of 9 members and facilitated by volunteers who spend countless hours making sure it all runs smoothly.
Project Merry Christmas was started in 1985, by a core group of dedicated volunteers, to provide food boxes to families in need and Medicaid recipients. A few years later toys and clothes were sent along with the food boxes. Since then PMC has progressed to its current activities that include providing toys and clothing, Food Gift Certificates and Vouchers to local thrift stores. We accept referrals from La Plata County Head Start programs, elementary and middle schools, Human Services, Volunteers of America, San Juan Basin Health, Women’s Resource Center, Community Connections, and the Family Center.
PMC is a community effort, which begins with our annual poster contest. Local children submit their creative entries with the winning submissions used for our advertising. All entries receive recognition with their display at the PMC Gift Wrapping Station. Children have delightful insight into PMC and it is fun to see their interpretations.
Food Gift Certificates from local grocery stores are significantly funded by financial donations from businesses, grants, and community members. This system enables families to purchase the food they desire. The amount varies depending on the number of family members.
The Angel and Bell Tree set up at the Durango Mall (Angels for children in the 8th grade or younger, Bells for seniors 65+ or disabled persons) provides opportunities for individuals to donate new clothing items. Interested individuals or families select an Angel or Bell, which lists three needed clothing items or household items, make the purchase, and return them to the PMC Angel Giving Tree and Gift Wrapping Station. These items are matched with requested toys and delivered to families by the local fire departments.
Toy are received from many sources including donations by organizations or individuals, the toy tree set up at Walmart, toy collection boxes set up throughout the community, and the motorcycle toy run. PMC volunteers also assemble bikes to get them ready for Santa to deliver. Requested items that are not donated are purchased by PMC.
All PMC families have their wish list filled in one of two ways:
1. The whole family is adopted by someone in the community (individuals, church groups, businesses, organizations, etc.) who provide all of the requested clothing, food, and toys.
2. Clothing requests are filled at our Angel/Bell tree in the Durango Mall. Toy requests are filled by donations from individuals/groups or purchased by PMC.
Many dedicated volunteers organize clothes and toys to ensure that the each family receives the items requested. The local fire departments deliver the packages to the families the Saturday before Christmas. Special delivery by fire truck excites the wide-eyed children and adults as well.
The local community also helps PMC with donations of space. Each year we “set up shop” in the lobby of the Northpoint Mall to take applications from qualified local families. The Durango Mall donates an area for the Angel/Bell Tree and Gift Wrapping Station. A temporary PMC Headquarters space is also donated each year. This space varies due to the temporary need and current space available. Collecting, organizing, and packaging donations occurs in the PMC Headquarters.
Our community patronage really shines at the holidays with a wide variety of donations and support. Our volunteers are phenomenal!!! Our Board of Directors spend countless hours to keep PMC running smoothly during the holidays. The incredible local support received by Project Merry Christmas enables our organization to fulfill its mission of helping to provide a Merry Christmas to La Plata County families in need.