Counselors: Community Christmas important to kids

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 25, 2011

Each year, Andalusia Community Christmas supporters make Christmas possible for more than 500 children.

And local school counselors say it plays a very important part in raising morale for the children.

“I actually volunteer,” said Straughn High School counselor Linda Varner. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for children who would not have a Christmas otherwise. We see a lot of grandparents raising children, who just have their Medicare. It helps out a lot.”

Varner shared a story of siblings who lived with their grandmother, and their mother is in rehab, but will go to prison when she’s out of rehab.

“Community Christmas offers a bright spot in their lives,” she said. “And we always get a thank you.”

Red Level Elementary School counselor Brenda Johnson agreed.

“Community Christmas is especially beneficial in helping grandparents provide gifts to the grandchildren they are caring for,” she said. “Recently, I was contacted by a grandparent who needed help in providing Christmas presents for his grandchild. This grandparent was so relieved and thankful whenever I told him about Andalusia’s Community Christmas organization.”

Samantha Russell, Andalusia Elementary School counselor, said the program is very important.

“Children can’t help that their parents may not be able to afford things. They still want things. It brings a little hope to the children.”

Russell said this is the first year she’s helped with Community Christmas, but is something she will definitely help with again.

Those interested in adopting angels can find them at local banks CCB Community Bank, Wells Fargo, Regions and Southern Independent Bank and other merchants and churches throughout the community.