Making Christmas brighter

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By Jonna Spelbring Priester

As families prepare to saddle up to a Thanksgiving feast next week, some will be thinking ahead to Christmas.

For some, that will involve planning what Black Friday sales they’ll hit up on Nov. 28. Some will wonder just how they’ll provide Christmas for their families this year amid tough economic times.

For some, the answer to that question is found in the Family Resource and Youth Services Centers in both the Eminence and Henry County school districts.

While the deadline to sign up for the programs has passed, the deadline to help make Christmas a little brighter for some families is still a couple of weeks away.

Renata Ingram, with the Henry County FRYSC, said they have 150 children signed up for their program, and 67 still need ‘sponsors.’

“What usually happens is people call us in October for kids to adopt,” she said. “This year, they didn’t start until November.”

Eminence FRYSC secretary Toni moore said of the 50 chidlren they have signed up, only 16 have been sponsored.

But both agencies have received a new donation – the Henry County Toy Run, organized by Vern Hawkins and Carl Hall raised 200 toys and more than $1,800. Both the cash and the toys were divided evenly between the Eminence and Henry County FRYSCs.

“The kids that we don’t get adopted, we’ll use (the toy run toys) for them to make sure they have toys,” Ingram said. Ingram said the cash will be spent on children who weren’t adopted by donors.

Despite the donations from the toy run, both agencies still need sponsors for children, and donations to help those children who do not get sponsors. Ingram said anyone who is interested in sponsoring a child or simply making a donation can call the FRYSC office, or drop by in person. Monetary donations should be made out to either the Eminence or Henry County FRYSC, and can be taken by the respective FRYSC office.

For those who are interested in sponsoring a child, a quick phone call to either FRYSC office will connect a sponsor with a child, anonymously. Sponsors are given a code, the child’s age and race, along with clothing sizes, needs and what toys the child likes.

The code, Ingram said, should be written on whatever bag or box is used to drop the gifts off at the FRYSC office. Donors are asked, by the Henry County FRYSC, to bring the gifts to the office from Dec. 9-11. Donors can wrap the gifts, or leave them unwrapped for parents to take care of. After the FRYSC staffs shop for children, those gifts will be presented to the childrens’ parents unwrapped.

For the Eminence FRYSC, gifts will be distributed to students the week of Dec. 15. There is no deadline for receipt of donations prior to distribution.

For more information, contact the Henry County Family Resource Center at 845-0334 or 845-8608, or the Eminence Family Resource Center at 845-4788.


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