[Spotlight] Winston-Salem Jaycees’ Christmas Cheer
By: Delaney Geraghty
This holiday season, the Winston-Salem Jaycees are hosting a series of “Cup of Christmas Cheer” and “Pint of Christmas Cheer” events as part of its 29th annual Christmas Cheer Project. On select days in December, various Winston-Salem coffee shops and bakeries will donate a portion of the day’s sales to the Jaycees’ fundraiser, which allows the organization to take local children in need out for a day of buying gifts and fun. The Jaycees will also join Foothills Brewing’s Craft Happiness Project to raise additional funds.
“We are a young adult leadership community organization that strives to do good within our community,” said WS Jaycees member Renee Parker, who helped organize this year’s Christmas Cheer Project.
The Cup of Christmas Cheer events began in November and will continue through Dec. 20. The local businesses participating include Ardmore Coffee, Tart Sweets, Camel City Coffee, Black Mountain Chocolate, Twin City Hive and Camino Bakery. Each shop is scheduled to host a fundraiser for the Jaycees on a set date, and the fundraiser lasts throughout the entire day (rather than just a portion of the shop’s business hours).
“These are local community coffee shops and bakeries, and we allow them to kind of set the way they want to donate to our Christmas Cheer. Whether that’s, like, a portion of the daily sales, if that’s so much per cup of coffee, it’s really up to them,” Parker said. “It’s to whatever their comfort level is.”
“It’s kind of fun to just encourage people to like, you know, go to local businesses and local shops and support them,” Parker said of the Jaycee’s partnership with Winston-Salem small businesses. “It’s been great, and I’m hoping it’ll grow and continue.”
Parker also spoke about Pint of Christmas Cheer, a similar series of events that raise money for the Christmas Cheer Project as well. New this year, the first wave of Pint of Christmas Cheer events took place in August. Parker said the Jaycees partnered with Fiddlin’ Fish, Juggheads Growlers and Pints and The Beer Growler for this series of events, and that they’re continuing Pint of Christmas Cheer in December by joining Foothills Brewing’s Craft Happiness Project.
According to the Foothills Brewing website, “Each month Craft Happiness project will feature a new IPA, and dedicate a portion of sales proceeds to an area of need in our region.”
The Winston-Salem-based brewing company chose the Jaycees’ Christmas Cheer Project to receive a portion of the proceeds from their new brew, Wish IPA. Foothills describes the IPA as “brewed to help Christmas wishes come true for children in need,” and, according to Foothills Brewing’s marketing director Ray Goodrich, will be available Dec. 13.
With the money raised from the Christmas Cheer project, the Jaycees will team up with The Salvation Army to take local disadvantaged children and their families out to buy Christmas presents, play at a trampoline park, and enjoy breakfast and lunch together.
“They’re more aware of the economic disparities that are within our community,” Parker said of The Salvation Army. “So they choose the children, they bring the children to Target, and we have volunteers that take them shopping.”
Parker explained that there is a set amount of money that each child can spend on presents, and that, in the past, food like pizza and sandwiches have been donated for the kids.
The Winston-Salem Jaycees is a community organization for 21-40-year-old professionals in the Triad that fosters networking, personal growth, and community service. The term “Jaycees” serves as a shortened version of the organization’s full name, the Winston-Salem Junior Chamber. The Jaycees organize numerous fundraisers and community events throughout the year, hold monthly membership meetings, and host events that focus on enhancing personal and business skills.
The upcoming Cup of Christmas Cheer events are as follows:
- Black Mountain Chocolate on Thursday, Dec. 5
- Twin City Hive on Friday, Dec. 13
- Camino Bakery on Friday, Dec. 20