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A Christmas Carol reading aims to raise money for women's homeless shelter

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WILKES-BARRE (WOLF) -- It’s a story many of us are familiar with.

How Ebenezer Scrooge transforms from a grumpy old man to one filled with the Christmas spirit.

Dozens gathered at the Wyoming Valley Art League in Wilkes-Barre Sunday for a dramatic reading of the classic novel, A Christmas Carol.

But not just for the experience.

“We’ve been giving art classes to Ruth’s Place, which is the homeless shelter for women. Its been going on for three years, we started this three years ago, this particular event to support them,” Rose Wright, a member of WVAL, said.

Ruth’s Place provides services for several hundred women a year, eventually helping them get back on their feet and into permanent homes.

Wright says the art classes give the women an extra boost of confidence and a sense of purpose even after they’ve moved on from the shelter.

“A lot of those women want to come back and take the art class. And so they do, which means that then they can mentor the women who have just arrived feeling totally depressed,” Wright said.

Wright’s husband Robert Anderson organized annual readings of a Christmas Carol on the radio before moving to Wilkes-Barre from Massachusetts.

Then, he decided to bring it to the Art League to help with the work it does for Ruth’s Place.

Everyone attending is asked to give a donation and follow along while the story is read aloud.

The readers include members of the Art League, a city councilman, radio hosts, and people from local organizations.

“To raise money and maybe just take anything to think about an organization that needs support, needs help from the community, and deserves that support and help. And its nice to take that time and read the story and know that we’re thinking of others and we want to take care of our community,” Anne Rodella, with the F.M. Kirby Center, said.

The Art League has raised about $1900 dollars towards its outreach program this year.

Members hope to cross the $2000 dollar mark with today’s reading.

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