THOMASTON — Carly Laughery is helping to provide Christmas gifts to children in need for the second year through a local Wine Fairies group. She started accepting applications this fall and reached her capacity in short order.

Despite closing the application process, Laughery still has people messaging her daily hoping to receive gifts, she said. She posted applications online Oct. 18 and closed them soon afterward because she received so many. She has a waiting list of 25 families right now. She is still unsure if she will be able to serve the remaining families on her list.

So far, she has raised about $5,000 for 103 children from every county in the state, she said. She has 105 more children who need gifts, which means she needs to raise about $5,000 more. There are nine families still in need in Waldo County. If 1,900 people donated $3.50 apiece — the price of a cup of coffee at Dunkin’ — Laughery would reach her fundraising goals for their Christmas gifts.

She has at least one volunteer in every county available to shop for children with the money she raises, but most gifts are being ordered online until a couple of weeks before Christmas, she said.

Collecting gifts for children in need is like working a second job in addition to her primary job at Staples, Laughery said. She is in the process of transforming her operation into an official nonprofit organization so she can continue collecting donations for families in need every year. State laws governing collecting money for charity will change next year, which will affect the way she collects donations in the future.

“I’d like to continue this onward, and to do so, especially with the new laws next year with donations and stuff, I’m going to have to be a charitable organization to be able to run it the way I’m running it,” she said, “… which is fine. I think we can definitely continue the interesting tradition that I’ve started.”

Laughery is hoping to organize a Grinch event to raise money, she said. She has been using word-of-mouth and Facebook for her fundraising efforts so far. She enjoys hearing from recipients about how much her efforts have helped them give their children a good Christmas.

“And it’s good fun,” she said. “I love that I’m getting messages already from people that ‘my kids wouldn’t have had Christmas if it wasn’t for you guys.’ These are people that need it.”

She accepts donations through PayPal, Cash App and Venmo. For more information, email her at