12 Years of Christmas

12 Years of Christmas

Charles Romans

The Ashland Beacon

christmas need

Local man Derrick Bishop has been helping those in need for years…12 years to be exact. And though Bishop might not provide anything as fanciful as Eleven Lords a Leaping or Five Golden Rings, he does his absolute best to raise money and awareness of the need that many families and children experience more acutely during the holiday season. “No child should have to do without,” Bishop said. “Especially at Christmas.”

Bishop at one point has been able to brighten the holidays for over 50 children. He said that most of the help he receives on his mission to brighten the holidays comes through his Facebook page, where anyone interested in donating or helping in any other way can feel free to contact him. Bishop said that being able to help so many children over the years has been a blessing to him as well as those whom he and his network of friends have been able to help.



“There is unfortunately so much need in our area and pretty much everywhere,” he said. “And, it goes beyond just having toys for Christmas,” he added. “Toys are wonderful,” he said. “But, so many kids need things like warm coats for winter, and shoes and other necessities.” Bishop said he makes sure that each child he helps also receives staple clothing items like socks and undergarments. The goal is to warm not only their hearts but their bodies as well; and though toys might bring more immediate joy, the other necessities last throughout the year.

And perhaps beyond their use as well, because Bishop said that several of the children he had previously helped are now helping him give to others in need. Seeing others reach out is all the reward he will ever need, he said.

“We can always use the help,” Bishop shared. “You could of course donate money, but if you would like to purchase the items yourself that would be great too.” All donated items are delivered to those in need before Christmas, and though in the early days Bishop made all of those deliveries personally, he now has some much-needed help. “There are some really wonderful people standing in as “Elves,” Bishop stated. Many of these elves are local social workers who have stepped up to further help those they already serve.

Bishop said he encourages everyone to help in any way they can, even if they choose to donate to another charity or group. “Especially in today’s economy, people need help,” he remarked. “And, it doesn’t have to be a lot. But if everyone gives a little, then a lot gets done.”

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