Santa needs a few little helpers

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By Cindy DiFazio

Staff writer/photographer

HCPS Family Resource Center coordinator Renata Ingram said this year’s Christmas for Kids initiative is well underway.

Christmas for Kids provides for children of all ages whose families need help during the holiday season. “We have 95 children eligible,” she said.

Preparations for this year’s program began in September.

Before children are approved for the program, their parents must attend budgeting classes and/or volunteer at school. Participants finished mandatory classes in early November.

Parents then complete a form prioritizing their children’s needs and listing clothing and shoe sizes. “We ask parents what the major needs are to make sure necessities are met,” she said.

Of the 95 students, at least 20 still need to be served.

Items that often appear on a child’s list are clothing, shoes, maybe even a coat. Ingram said parents might include a specific toy or two in case a sponsor wishes to make that sort of purchase.

“It’s left to each person’s discretion,” she said. “Sometimes people buy extra things for the family, like a turkey or other food.”

Ingram said groups within the school system always pitch in.

“This year the middle school’s Junior Beta Club is adopting a family,” she said. Ingram said the Future Business Leaders of America and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes are two high school clubs who have signed on.

To find out more about the Christmas for Kids program, donate to or volunteer to adopt a student, call Renata Ingram at (502) 845-0334 or e-mail her at Renata.ingram.@henry.kyschools.us.

Time is running out to help. Donated items or contributions must be returned to the Family Resource Center by December 11.

Debbie Hartford, coordinator of the Eminence Family Resource and Youth Services Center, said they also began reviewing Christmas for Kids applications in September.

Parents were required to attend three school events and at least one workshop.

The organization offered a two-night budgeting workshop as well as classes on how to communicate with your children, basic computer skills and positive ways to discipline children.

“Some came back for another workshop after they’d completed the required one,” she said.

Hartford said the Eminence program approved 65 students for assistance.

“We still need help,” she said. “We still have about 55 to be adopted.”

Hartford said parents make out a wish list.

“They put needs first, then toys,” she said.

Hartford said they have “regulars” who sponsor participants yearly as well as some corporate help from nearby businesses, but they can still use help.

“People can sponsor a child, donate toys or make a monetary donation,” she said.

Debbie Hartford may be reached at (502) 845-5427 extension 2256.


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