Christmas families needed

Published 9:49 am Friday, November 23, 2012

Joe Richburg reads a letter sent by a local child.

An Opp merchant and two local radio stations have joined together to spread a little Christmas cheer to local families.

J.R.’s Lawmower Shop, WAMI and WOPP are each doing their part to ensure that children across the WAMI listening area have a little brighter Christmas in 2012.

The program, Christmas for Children, began three years ago, when J.R.’s owner Joe Richburg said God spoke to him and told him to do something for children.

“We decided to let children 12 and under to present a letter telling us why their family could use the extra money,” he said. “Each year, the kids write letters saying they wouldn’t buy toys with the money. Many of them would buy shoes and food. Some of them have parents who just got out of prison.”

The first year, they raised some $5,000 and have already almost met that total, having collected $4,683 on Tuesday afternoon.

“God is in the center of this,” Richburg said. “It’s really a blessing, and so many organizations step up to help us. I really want to thank Harry Phillips at WAMI, and WOPP is helping by collecting bicycles.”

Richburg said he spoke at the Elba Rotary Club on Tuesday, and members blessed the project, richly.

“This is not about J.R.’s, WAMI or Joe Richburg,” he said. “It’s all about the kids.”

Children in the WAMI listening area who have not sent in their letters have until Dec. 7 to do so.

Mail letter to J.R.’s Lawnmower Shop, P.O. Box 329, Opp, AL 36467, drop them off at the shop, WAMI or WOPP.

Winners will be announced on WAMI on Dec. 14.

Local merchants or residents who wish to donate money or specific items children have requested, are asked to call Richburg at 493-9645.