2017-11-18 / Front Page

‘Santa’ visits Christmas House


Among those on hand to accept a donation from JKLM Energy representative Kelly Seward (left) during the annual open house last week at Christmas House were Pete Wyatt, known as “Coudy Santa,” and the organization’s assistant treasurer, Marge Shaffer. Wyatt spent much of the afternoon meeting with kids to hear their fondest wishes. 
Bill Pekarski photo Among those on hand to accept a donation from JKLM Energy representative Kelly Seward (left) during the annual open house last week at Christmas House were Pete Wyatt, known as “Coudy Santa,” and the organization’s assistant treasurer, Marge Shaffer. Wyatt spent much of the afternoon meeting with kids to hear their fondest wishes. Bill Pekarski photo On the corner of Main and Water street in downtown Coudersport is a small and crowded building housing a group specializing in abounding love and service to others.

The walls of Christmas House are adorned with shelves filled with festively wrapped gifts that symbolize the non-profit, all-volunteer organization’s mission: “Helping those in need, powered solely by volunteers and donations.”

A steady stream of visitors stopped at Christmas House last Thursday for its annual open house. Guests are greeted at the door and welcomed to meet the volunteer staff and enjoy homemade soup, sandwiches, and cookies.

But this year’s open house was different. Among attendees was a representative of JKLM Energy who had a particular interest in the open house. Kelly Seward presented a $1,500 check to Christmas House and indicated that the company plans to continue its support.

Seward emphasized that JKLM Energy seeks to be “a good corporate citizen” in Potter County and recognizes Christmas House’s mission.

“We appreciate the fact that this donation will go directly to helping the people in this area who need it the most,” she said, adding that JKLM also plans to provide gifts needed to fulfill Christmas House’s obligations for the holiday season.

Although Christmas House operates year-round helping Potter County residents who find themselves in desperate circumstances, volunteers move into high gear this time of year to prepare for delivery of hundreds of Christmas gifts.

Letters requesting names of Potter County children in need have been sent to area social service agencies, school nurses and churches. Individuals may also contact Christmas House directly by calling (814) 274-0825 on Tuesdays from 9 am to 1 pm.

This year the organization has a need for financial donations as well as larger gifts for school-age children.

Christmas House also works with the Salvation Army and other agencies to provide the less fortunate with food, clothing and basic appliances, and limited emergency help with rent or utility bills. For years, Christmas House has purchased new shoes for students before the start of school each fall. This is accomplished with financial support from the NDHP Motorcycle Fraternity.

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