QUINCY — Thinking about Christmas morning can make Joanne Hibbeler start to choke up.

A long-time volunteer with the Good News of Christmas, Hibbeler thinks about the families supported through the campaign.

“On Christmas morning, all these presents will be opened up,” she said looking over the room.

Helping run the Good News of Christmas headquarters in the Quincy Mall Community Room, Hibbeler helps make sure shopping is completed for the cases and that items are being wrapped.

In it’s 32nd year, the campaign is designed to provide assistance to families in West-Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri who are dealing with hardships, such as job loss, housing loss or health issues.

The Good News of Christmas is sponsored by The Herald-Whig and the United Way of Adams County, which works with caseworkers in West-Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri caseworkers to find families who would benefit from the program.

Volunteers are still needed to help wrap, but some volunteer shoppers are needed.

“We’ve had a great group of shoppers this year, because my husband (Pat) retired, so I make him shop every day,” Hibbeler said with a laugh. “He did good last year when he was still working. I think he’s done nine cases that he’s shopped for.”

Jenna Hull with the United Way of Adams County said that 22 of the 50 cases have been adopted so far. 

“We’re excited about that, and hopefully, we’re not done,” Hull said. “I’ve had a couple other people call that are either sending in a monetary donation or they’re going to call me back and adopt a full case.”

On Saturday, volunteer Brittany Vermeire was busy wrapping gifts for a family. She has volunteered for Good News for several years.

“Moms and dads are working and doing what they can, and sometimes they just need a little help,” Vermeire said. “That’s where the United Way and The Herald-Whig can come together and give these families that their kids may not be able to have.”

Many families’ household needs are fulfilled through the campaign. This ranges from linens, microwaves and even cleaning supplies.

“The adults ask for the most basic needs that you take for granted,” Vermeire said.

Good News of Christmas recipients in and near Quincy will pick up their Christmas gifts at the Community Room on Thursday, Dec. 17. Gifts will be delivered to outlying areas in semi-trucks provided by John Wood Community College.

The Good News of Christmas headquarters is open from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday for volunteers who wish to help wrap presents or shop for the families. Volunteers are required to wear masks and practice social distancing in the Good News headquarters.

For information on how to volunteer for the campaign, especially groups, call 217-221-3306. Those interested in adopting a family should contact the United Way at 217-224-1223.

Those wishing to make a monetary donation to the campaign can send it to Good News of Christmas, c/o The Herald-Whig, P.O. Box. 909, Quincy, IL 62306. Donations also can be made online at goodnewschristmas.com.

Donations of new clothing and household items can be deposited in Good News collection boxes through Dec. 17 at the Quincy Mall Customer Service, Farm and Home Supply, Walmart and Lowe’s.

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