Tiny Tim effort begins

TICONDEROGA - The Tiny Tim Christmas Wish Program is preparing for its 30th season in Ticonderoga.Tiny Tim applications are now available and can be obtained at 17 Mount Hope Avenue, Ticonderoga. Deadline for applications is Nov. 15. For more information contact Helen Gibbs at 585-7429.Gibbs is the long-time head of the Tiny Tim Christmas Wish program, which provides gifts to needy children in the Ti-Putnam-Hague area.Gibbs has been part of the Tiny Tim program for 20 years, but she's hoping to pass the reins on to others in the near future."I almost didn't do it last year," Gibbs said. "Ann Dedrick talked me into it, but it's getting harder and harder for me."Gibbs, who had major surgery in the past year, is counting on Dedrick and Nancy Quesnel to assist with the Tiny Tim effort this holiday season."They've worked with me the last years and they understand how things work," Gibbs said. "Ann said they would do the leg work if I'd continue to do the paperwork."The Tiny Tim program started in 1980 when a group of Ticonderoga Central School teachers realized the need. The program grew to the point the teachers could no longer handle the demand."In January of 1989 there was an article in the Times of Ti that the program was disbanding," Gibbs recalled. "They just couldn't do it any more; it had gotten too expensive."It really bothered me when I thought about it, that there were so many kids who needed things," she continued. "I made a call to see if I could help."She became Tiny Tim chairwoman in 1995.There have been a lot of changes during the years. Tiny Tim no longer accepts or distributes used items and gifts are no longer wrapped.And, Tiny Tim has grown. It started out giving away winter coats. Now each child gets six pair of socks, six sets of underwear, a jacket, ski pants, boots, clothing and toys.Tiny Tim now serves about 75 families and nearly 200 children each holiday season.It costs more than $6,000 a year to operate the Tiny Tim program, Gibbs said.The confidential program decides who gets holiday help using the school's free and reduced lunch income guidelines, Gibbs explained. Parents must complete applications. That application includes questions about the children in the homes, such as clothing sizes and gender.

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