On Centre: Around Bellefonte | FaithCentre gears up for holiday push

In order to get to her office these days, FaithCentre Director Nicole Summers has to walk past a large number of Christmas trees.

The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year for the center, and it is running several programs and drives to raise money and give people the necessities.

One major fundraiser is the Christmas sale that begins Friday at 10 a.m. and runs through Dec. 23. They collect donated items throughout the year and sell them around the holidays.

“I would say, right now, a third of our building is filled up with Christmas stuff,” Summers said.

She said there is about 10 to 15 percent more items than last year, which will be helpful because it costs about $8,000 to feed people at Christmastime.

The FaithCentre also will be a dropoff point for a Howard United Methodist Church clothing drive benefiting the United Methodist Home for Children in Mechanicsburg. The building is a place for children that have usually been subjected to abuse or neglect and have not been placed in a foster home, Summers said.

“It’s basically a home for children who really have no other option,” she said.

It will be collecting items such as socks, T-shirts and towels through Dec. 8.

There will also be a holiday push to fill the FaithCentre’s Pet Pantry.

Mount Nittany Veterinary Hospital on Elmwood Street near Lemont will be collecting food for FaithCentre’s stock, which will help families thoughout the county that can’t afford to feed their pets.

The last day of the drive will be Dec. 7, which will coincide with the Pictures with Santa day at the hospital. The pictures will be taken from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at no cost. The collectors will accept all donations from a single can to large bags of dog or cat food.