If you think finding Christmas gifts for your loved ones is a challenge, try arranging Christmas for 1,200 local children.
That’s exactly what Jackson County Family Connection is doing with its annual Holiday Connection program that strives to make sure every child gets something for Christmas.
“We need toys and we need money,” noted Linda Foster, executive director. “We also need organizations to adopt families and children. Adoption and money are our two biggest needs.”
Local school counselors refer children to Family Connection and rate them 1-3 based on the severity of the need. Parents of kids not adopted out will be able to “shop” Dec. 10-11 at the Holiday Connections “store” at Jackson Creative in Commerce. The store will be stocked with donated toys and with toys purchased from donated funds.
Foster estimates that the program will cost about $20,000, but she pointed out that the Braselton Rotary Club adopts 100 kids, taking on a sizable portion of the load.
“It’s a major undertaking,” Foster said of the annual event. “There’s a lot of need. It’s amazing how much need is out there. It’s sad, but we’re going to try to not turn anybody away.”
Foster, who became director of Family Connections earlier this year, said the group hopes to adopt out most of the children and families and to refer fewer to the store. Church groups, schools, businesses and civic organizations typically adopt families and children, as do some individuals.
Donations can be sent to Jackson County Family Connection, P.O. Box 883, Jefferson, GA 30549 with checks made out to Family Connection. Foster will send a receipt back. For information or to donate cash or toys, contact Foster at 706-367-3021.
“All the cash will be spent on toys,” she said. “If you do a cash donation, we’ll go shop for them.”
Foster estimates that some 25 volunteers will help buy gifts and operate the store. On Dec. 12, the day after the store closes, there will be a party at Jackson Creative for families who adopt children to exchange gifts.