Wanted: Needy families; Community Christmas registration set for Nov. 6

Published 12:03 am Saturday, October 23, 2010

Families needing help to provide Christmas for their children should mark their calendar for Nov. 6 for the one-day registration for the Andalusia Community Christmas.

Last year, more than 650 children were provided for through the program, said organizer Larry Avery. The program serves children from age 2 through 13 residing in only the Andalusia, Pleasant Home, Red Level and Straughn school districts. The cities of Florala and Opp have their own respective “Community Christmas” program.

The gifts will be distributed on Fri., Dec. 17, at 6:30 p.m. at the Kiwanis building.

“This program works through a team effort,” Avery said. “Community Christmas works by having the community adopt ‘angels.’ Then, the community purchases gifts for those ‘angels.’ We recommend about $60 be spent on each child. That doesn’t buy a lot, so people usually spend more; however, to those families, it means the world.”

Recent figures show that the organization spends approximately $50,000 a year to provide Christmas for the needy families. The group provides toys and clothing to those who qualify for the program.

Additionally, 150 bicycles are distributed each year to children.

This year’s registration will take place on at the following times at:

• Pleasant Home School – 9 a.m. until noon.

• Red Level School – 9 a.m. until noon.

• Straughn School – 9 a.m. until noon.

• Andalusia Middle School – 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

In order to determine if the family qualifies for the program, individuals must bring the following documents at the time of registration:

• the picture ID of the parent registering their children, i.e. driver’s license, school ID, work photo ID, etc.

• Birth certificate with documentation of guardianship for each child that is not one’s biological child. Note that only parents and guardians are allowed to register their children. No grandparents, aunts or other individuals unless they are legal guardians.

• Proof of residence such as a current bill or rent receipt that shows one’s physical address. No post office addresses will be accepted.

• Proof of government assistance such as WIC, Medicaid, SSI, etc.

Jan White, another Community Christmas organizer, said community members wishing to help make the event possible can submit tax-deductible donations or adopt an “angel” in the coming weeks.

“We should have those angels out at area merchants by Tues., Nov. 16,” White said. “So, be on the lookout for them.”

Tax-deductible contributions can also be mailed to Andalusia Community Christmas Inc., P.O. Box 1525, Andalusia, AL 36420.

Children present at last year’s Community Christmas enjoy a visit from Santa Claus. | File photo