Agencies help grant Christmas wishes

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 17, 2005

Yet another example of Butler County’s generosity to those in need was shown this week, as a family’s Christmas wish was granted through the joint effort of local agencies and church members.

On Thursday, members of Southside Baptist Church’s Women on Mission group joined representatives of the Butler County Department of Human Resources, Butler County Sheriff’s Office and Safe Harbor Children’s Advocacy Center at the Safe Harbor offices.

The group gathered around the large Christmas tree in Safe Harbor’s lobby to present a new television and game system to Michael, 14, Ashley, 11, Rashad, 8, Rodney, 6, and their mom Victoria.

&uot;I found out about this need. The family’s Christmas wish was to have a TV of their own. They had to go to a neighbor’s house to be able to watch anything,&uot; Albert McKee of the BCSO explained.

McKee decided to put the &uot;wheels in motion&uot; by approaching Tommie Means of DHR for assistance, and Means, in turn, reached out to other agencies.

&uot;I got in touch with Safe Harbor – and then the ladies from Southside came in and helped us out, too – so you can say this really was a group effort,&uot; Means said.

Sara Jean Atkins, both a member of Southside’s WOM and a volunteer at Safe Harbor, said the group was delighted to be a part of making someone’s Christmas extra special.

&uot;It make you feels good to be able to help others,&uot; Atkins said.

These &uot;Santas&uot; were able to deliver this Christmas wish in a short amount of time.

&uot;It really happened so fast…it all came together like a real Christmas miracle,&uot; Means said with a smile.

Though many resources were given by Butler Countians to help Katrina victims earlier this year, local citizens’ generosity is still in full force, Means said.

&uot;People still seem to be in a very giving mood…that says something about the community in itself. We have so many in our local churches and civic groups that will help others,&uot; he added.

&uot;This shows when you all work together, you can accomplish wonderful things,&uot; Kathy Smyth, director of Safe Harbor, said.

&uot;When we see so many crisis situations on a weekly basis, it is so refreshing to see goodness, especially for such a deserving family.&uot;