Share Your Christmas program to assist 436 children in need

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Barry County Share Your Christmas, which is organized by the Barry County OACAC Neighborhood Center and Share Your Christmas committee members, will serve 172 families and 436 children this year.

"The numbers are up from last year," said Gail Reed, Barry County OACAC director. "We're seeing a lot of new families with young children that I think are just having a hard time making ends meet."

Democrat Photo/Roberts Filling Christmas wishes Volunteers with Share Your Christmas were hard at work on Tuesday filling Christmas wishes for over 400 underprivileged children in Barry County. Volunteers are pictured above. From left, are: Liz Wolfe, Jo Ellen Fielding, Bertie Bailey, Sue Cavness, Sherri Miller, Lorie Speakman, Trish McCracken, Sara Lee, Bobbie Tucker and Kathy Urban. "The generosity of the community is amazing," said Bailey as she sorted toys. "Taking gift requests really works out well. It's much more rewarding for the kids." Coordinators for the event are Bailey, Tucker and McCracken. The organization works in conjunction with the Barry County OACAC Neighborhood Center.

On Tuesday, Dec. 17, volunteers collected hundreds of toys, personal hygiene products and clothing vouchers, which were sorted and packed at Cassville United Methodist Church.

Area parents were invited to pick up sacks of toys, which contained large and small items, stocking stuffers and games of sports items for families, at the church. The Family Support Division assisted in distribution of goods.

Hygiene items were donated by the First Baptist Church in Cassville.

"We truly appreciate everyone who helps in making Share Your Christmas a success," Reed said. "From the people who make cash and toy donations to the collection sites and toy drives held throughout the county, and the churches that allow us to use the space for packaging and distributing the bags of gifts to families; they all work together to make the annual program a success."

Share Your Christmas accepts donation for the program throughout the year. For more information, call Reed at 847-2140.

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