Donations needed in Opp

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 6, 2011

Donations are needed to help make needy children in Opp’s Community Christmas a success.

Emilee Gage, Opp’s Community Christmas organizer, asked the Opp Council Monday night for a donation to help fund this cause.

The city council voted to donate $2,600 to the fund.

“A lot of people really do need help,” Councilman Davy Lindsey said.

Additi-onally, she has asked local churches to help, but said she has only heard back from three.

The Community Christmas is organized through the Opp Benevolence Fund, which also assists individuals with utilities, rent, groceries and gas.

Gage said last year there were 206 children eligible for Community Christmas, and the Benevolence fund sponsored 106 children on its own. Gage said this was an increase from only 52 children in 2009.

Local churches also help by sponsoring children, she said.

“Each year churches and private parties tell me the number of children they are willing to sponsor and the Benevolence Fund sponsors the remaining number,” she said.

Gage said she averaged about $78 per child, which included two shirts, one to two pairs of pants, one pair of shoes, a sweater or jacket and various toys.

“I eliminated socks and undergarments to ensure each child was able to get shoes,” she said. “I had a strict budget last year because the amount of recipients doubled and I needed to put priorities in place.”

Gage said this year there may be less applicants because the policy for Opp’s Community Christmas says that an individual may only receive help two years in a row.

“On the other hand, that opens up spaces for individuals that have not been helped,” she said.

Anyone interested in making a donation, or sponsoring children, may contact Gage at 493-3070.