No it’s not.
But for some, despite the relentless heat beating down on Union County as of late, thoughts of putting presents under the tree and making a child’s holiday that much brighter is already at the top of their list.
Even if it is the middle of summer.
Several members of UCARE — or Union County Aide and Relief Effort — met Thursday afternoon at the Union County Airport to begin making plans for the upcoming Christmas season.
UCARE is an organization of Union County employees formed to help needy and underprivileged citizens — especially children — of the community through payroll deductions, raffles and other fundraisers.
While the holidays still are a good five months away, the organization wants to capitalize on the amazing response it received in 2009 with its first-ever “12 Days of Christmas” Nintendo Wii giveaway.
“With Christmas quickly approaching, we’re trying to get a strategy together to get the wishes of Union County families taken care of,” said UCARE president Robbie Hines.
The group plans to do the “12 Days of Christmas” giveaway again this year, but much of the conversation on Thursday surrounded what it will raffle off.
Last year, UCARE sold raffle tickets for $1 each or six for $5 and gave those who purchased tickets a shot to win one of 12 Wiis raffled off on WBCU radio. WBCU also partnered with the organization and gave all of the toys it collected through its Truck Load of Toys event to UCARE to distribute among children in need around the county.
The organization has just more than $11,200 to begin this year but still is in the planning stages as to what the “12 Days of Christmas” will include in 2010. Some dicussion was had, but no decisions were made by members on Thursday.
Members discussed possibly doing Wiis again this year or a mixture of Wiis and other items, such as a Wii Fit. If two or more items were to be raffled off during the fundraiser in December, each item would have its own color of ticket and people could choose to purchase tickets for whichever item they would like the chance at winning.
“I think it would be beneficial to basically half it to where we can have two selections instead of one,” Hines said.
The organization would like to start selling raffle tickets for this year’s holiday fundraiser as early as possible to maximize the funds raised that will be used to purchase toys and gifts for children in need around Union County and hopefully make their Christmases a little brighter.
“We just need to do it again and remind everyone we’re still here,” Hines said.
Mike Stevens of WBCU was in attendance at Thursday’s meeting and told UCARE members the radio station is committed again this year to helping sell tickets and donating to it the toys and gifts it collects through the Truck Load of Toys event.
Whatever UCARE will give away this year, however, hopefully will be decided soon.
“We need to decide so we can get the tickets made and start selling,” said UCARE special events coordinator Sue Cudd.
The organization also is seeking additional input and volunteers from throughout the Union County employee base. UCARE plans to send notices out with payroll checks in the near future explaining to employees what it is all about and asking for their assistance.
“We want to stay strong with this,” Hines said.
UCARE will meet again to continue discussion on the “12 Days of Christmas” fundraiser at noon Thursday, Aug. 19, at the airport.
Hines and Cudd encourage all current UCARE members and any other county employees not currently involved with the organization but would like to be to attend the next meeting.