The heat of summer is bearing down on the Sandhills, but one community nonprofit hopes you will keep Christmas at the top of your mind.

Christmas For Moore, whose mission is helping individuals and families residing in Moore County in need of assistance at Christmas time, is organizing its annual September program registration and sponsor drive.

“We’re getting ready for the Christmas season, recruiting volunteers, sponsors, donors and preparing for our four registration sessions in September,” says Eleanora Voelkel, chair of the group.

Area churches are even kicking off Christmas in July Angel Tree programs to get members excited for the upcoming season of giving.

“Not only is the program a blessing to so many families that the church members adopt, but it is also a blessing to so many people who help make the program a success at the Village Chapel,” says Lori Valentinas, angel tree coordinator for the chapel. “We enjoy wrapping the gifts and Bibles, preparing for distribution day and spending time together. I think it has become a part of many members’ Christmas traditions. It is truly better to give than receive when you see the joy on the faces of the Christmas For Moore recipients.”

Brenda Hiscott of Pinehurst has made volunteering and sponsoring a family in need for Christmas For Moore (previously known as the Empty Stocking Fund) for more than a decade.

“I have seen many things that touch my heart,” Hiscott says. “My original reason for volunteering for this program was to help the children, but I soon learned it was more about families in need.

“I also learned not to judge. When you go to homes and step through their doorway, and there is a hole in the floor with dirt below, this left a lump in my throat. Many think of Pinehurst as an area without need, but this is not true. When a family asks for toilet tissue, dish detergent and soap, this is an eye opener. My intentions were to do this program through my church, Brownson Presbyterian, for two or three years, but when I saw the need I could not walk away. There is a great need to help others in our area.”

Christmas For Moore hosts four registration sites this September where individuals and families in need of assistance can register to be paired with a sponsor for Christmas. The 2019 registration sites and dates are:

Tuesday, Sept. 10, from 4-6 p.m. at Our Saviour Lutheran Church, located at 1517 Luther Way, Southern Pines.

Thursday, Sept. 12, from 4-7 p.m. at West End Presbyterian Church – Crawford Center, located at 275 Knox Lane, West End.

Saturday, Sept. 14, from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at Moore County Agricultural Center, located at 707 Pinehurst Ave., Carthage.

Tuesday, Sept. 17, from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. at Boys and Girls Club of the Sandhills, located at 160 Memorial Park Court, Southern Pines. Enter between the ball fields off of Morganton Road.

The rules for Christmas For Moore program registration are as follows:

Every applicant must be a Moore County resident.

You must provide identification for every individual in your home. A photo ID for all adults and other identification for children. (Identification can include a driver’s license, current Medicaid card, Faith in Action ID, NCID, etc.)

You must register each individual in your home at one of the listed registration times to be eligible for the 2019 Christmas distribution. (If unable to register in person, a relative or agent can complete the registration if they bring all of the required documentation listed above and they know each individual’s needs and clothing sizes.)

Registering in 2019 at more than one of our locations or with another Moore County program, such as St. Anthony’s or Caring Hearts, will result in DISQUALIFICATION.

There are no guarantees that every family will be sponsored. It is totally dependent on the number of sponsors available.

Once a family has applied to be a recipient family, this information will be shared with groups who have indicated a desire for sponsoring families for Christmas. Sponsors will contact the families by Nov. 15.
Sponsors are asked to spend a minimum of $40 per person.

Through generous community donations and sponsorships, Christmas For Moore was able to sponsor more than 1,500 individuals in 2018.

“We make a special effort to accommodate all eligible persons,” Voelkel says. “Our neighbors in need from Moore County will be on the lookout for the flyers posting the locations and qualifications for them to register and be matched with a sponsor family. Sponsors are encouraged to contact Christmas for Moore this summer to let us know how many people they are willing to support. We hope to be able to again support every person who registers in 2019. I pray everyone who reads this will consider partnering with the Christmas For Moore team to bring your neighbors a Christmas filled with love and joy.”

For more information on becoming a Christmas for Moore sponsor, call 910-477-3355 (voicemail), email [email protected] or visit

To assist with a donation, checks may be mailed to Christmas for Moore, P.O. Box 3962, Pinehurst, N.C., 28374. All donations are tax-deductible.

Feature photo via Christmas for Moore: Dana Fierro (L),  Sherri Mangum,  Eleanora Voelkel, Tina Patterelli Arno, Barbara Dice, Myron Dice and Anne Wells at Penick Village in 2017.



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