Mason has worked his Christmas Wish Magic for over 20 years. In 2002, Mason Dixon Christmas Wish Fund, Inc. became a Florida non-profit corporation, and a designated 501c (3) charity. His charity is completely volunteer based. There are no salaries paid and no professional fundraisers are hired. Well over 90% of the money that is contributed goes right back out to the families in need.
WHO: We help families that are in the Tampa Bay area. Most families we help are those that have fallen on hard times due to job loss, an illness, lack of child support or other mishaps. Generally, these families have fallen through the cracks of public assistance and just need a helping hand.
WHAT: We provide the families with cash, a check, toys and/or certificates.
WHERE: The money we raise stays in the Tampa Bay area. In
order to hold expenses, we run Christmas Wish out of the offices of Q105.
HOW: Relatives, friends or those in need are welcome to send
letters that explain the hard times that are upon them. All letters are read and evaluated. Wishes are granted both on and off the air.
WHY: Because Mason Dixon’s Christmas Wish Fund, Inc. along with Q105 care about those who are in need in the Tampa Bay area communities.
A Little About Christmas Wish
For those who don’t know the story of Christmas Wish, here’s how and why it began.
Mason and I have been married for almost 38 years. 36 years of our marriage have been spent here in Tampa Bay. We have raised our two girls here, and made this amazing place our home.
In 1992, Mason became determined to start a program that would help needy families during the Christmas season. He named it Christmas Wish. We raised about $8,000 that year and helped about 20 families. We had requests from toys, to food to a set of new false teeth! Yep! We were hooked and ready to do even more.
We wanted Christmas Wish to reach those families that fell on hard times and who fell between the cracks of the many Federal and local assistance programs. You sent the letters of need and we responded with funds for as many families as we could until the money ran out each year.
In 2002, we realized that if we wanted to be able to provide for more families, we needed to upgrade. We were told that large donations or fundraisers wouldn’t be possible unless Christmas Wish was a designated 501c3 charity. For months I researched and took classes on how to apply for this important status. We finalized our application in late October. Knowing that the process can take upwards of a year to receive IRS approval, we turned to the one person we had been told who could help. We contacted the office of the late Congressman Bill Young. Within 1 month, we had our approval. That year we raised $75,000. We were able to help over 100 families. Now we were moving.
What started out as a yearly 5 to 6 week labor of love, has now turned into a year round venture. We have now raised over the $1.5 million mark and have assisted 1000’s of families……all this by a charity that STILL PAYS NO SALARIES! We are all volunteers, fulfilling our promise to give back to the area that has given so much to us.
When families are so desperate that they have to tell their children there will be no Christmas, we want to be there to help, turning tears of despair to tears of joy. Through Christmas Wish we can make a difference with monetary assistance, food, toys or just help with the bills. You are the lifeline to our Tampa Bay families. You are the ones who need to see the tears and see the sense of relief that shows up on our recipients faces’ when we deliver toys, food, or a check.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being a part of this amazing journey. As Tiny Tim proclaims in Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, “God bless us, everyone”.
Mason and Pat