Bend Area CARE prepares for holidays

By Mindy Kearns - Special to the Register

BEND AREA — With November quickly approaching, now comes “crunch time” for organizations, like Bend Area CARE, who provide gifts for those less fortunate at Christmas.

“Kids for Christmas” is CARE’s annual program that provides toys and clothing for children of families who qualify for Bend Area Share-A-Christmas. CARE takes on the families with multiple children, allowing smaller families to be “adopted” by churches and other organizations.

Although CARE raises funds all year long, more and more families have needed holiday help in recent years. CARE member Leonard Koenig said the organization will provide for approximately 60 children this season.

To ensure the kids are provided with a good holiday, CARE is sponsoring “Bingo Games” for the third year as an added fundraiser. To switch things up, prizes for the bingo this year will not be the traditional baskets. Winners will receive items from Vera Bradley and Thirty One, as well as handmade wreaths by Pam Bumgarner.

The games will be held Nov. 4, 6 p.m., at the American Legion banquet room in New Haven, which is smoke-free. Doors will open at 5 p.m.

Tickets for the 20 games will be available for a $20 donation. There will also be three special games. Early bird tickets will be available until Nov. 2.

Concessions will be sold, including chicken and noodles, hotdogs and sauce, pulled pork, cupcakes and drinks. There will also be a 50/50 drawing and door prizes.

CARE normally spends anywhere from $150 to $200 on each child. The members will spend over $10,000 buying children’s clothing and toys at Mason Walmart in mid-November. The store usually offers dedicated cash registers to the group on shopping day, and CARE enjoys adding to the local Mason County economy, according to Koenig.

The bingo games have been successful the last two years, Koenig said, and have allowed CARE to provide each family with a food voucher to a local grocery store, in addition to the children’s gifts.

The group is now accepting sponsorships for the bingo game items, as well as door prize donations. To donate, or to get early bird tickets, contact Koenig at 740-591-2431 or Carolyn Koenig at 740-444-2664.

By Mindy Kearns

Special to the Register

Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at

Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at