SYC provides gifts for 400 area kids

Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Democrat Photo/Lindsay Reed Christmas elves On Dec. 13, Share Your Christmas volunteers gathered at the Cassville United Methodist Church to collect, sort and pack toys for 400 Barry County children. The program, which is organized by the Barry County OACAC Neighborhood Center, served over 170 families this year. Pictured above, in the front, is: Liz Wolfe. Second row: Cordelia Herrin, Linda Phipps, Trish McCracken and Bertie Bailey. Back row: Sue Cavness, Cheryl Smith, Cheri Shumaker, Linda Marple, Bobbie Tucker, Beverly Worman, Perryleanne Lingle, Jeanne Lambel, Angela Matthews, Lana Couch and Misha Blakely.

Barry County Share Your Christmas, which is organized by the Barry County OACAC Neighborhood Center and Share Your Christmas Committee members, served over 140 families and provided gifts for 400 children this year.

"Everything went really well, very smoothly," said Gail Reed, Barry County OACAC director. "We had 18 families adopted, and all but four families were able to pick up their gifts on Friday."

On Dec. 13, Share Your Christmas volunteers collected hundreds of toys from area businesses and collection sites. Toys were sorted and packed at the Cassville United Methodist Church last Thursday morning.

Area parents were invited to pick up sacks of toys, which contained large and small gifts and stocking stuffers for each child and games or sports items for families, at the Cassville First Baptist Church on Friday. The Family Support Division assisted with the distribution of gift items.

Families received several items in addition to toys. For instance, the Cassville Quilters Club donated several handmade baby blankets and First Baptist Church provided each family with a hygiene bag that included an assortment of household products.

Each family received vouchers for the purchase of clothing for each child. Parents of children between the ages of 13 and 18 who still attend school also received vouchers for Christmas gifts.

"The community is wonderful to help with Share Your Christmas," said Reed. "You don't know how much we appreciate everyone who plays a part in this program, from those who make toy and cash donations, to the churches who donate the use of the facilities and Herrin's Animal Hospital, which conducts a toy drive each year.

"We appreciate the hygiene bags provided by First Baptist Church and all the volunteers who give their time to pick up the toys, pack the bags and distribute the bags to the families," continued Reed. "This year, we had several school groups participate by adopting families. It takes everybody in the community to make this program work."

Share Your Christmas accepts donations throughout the year. Individuals interested in supporting the program should call Reed at 847-2140.

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