Above, volunteers with various organizations team up at Live 101.9 in Bainbridge to kick off the Secret Santa program which they are all joining forces on. Here they stand in front of a full toy bin. -- Ashley Johnson
Above, volunteers with various organizations team up at Live 101.9 in Bainbridge to kick off the Secret Santa program which they are all joining forces on. Here they stand in front of a full toy bin.
Photo by: Ashley Johnson
 

Organizations team up, join forces for Secret Santa

Published 12:27am Wednesday, November 6, 2013

For the first time, local charitable organizations are pulling together to meet the needs of the community’s Christmas.
The Secret Santa program, which delivers gifts to children whose parents may not be able to afford gifts, has provided for the community for years. This year Kevin Dowdy with Live 101.9 is bringing in more organizations to facilitate the annual gift drive. The Salvation Army, Decatur Community Cares and Family Connection are partnering with Live 101.9 to coordinate Secret Santa.
Those in the community who are looking for a way to reach out this holiday season can do so with this program in a wide range of ways from providing monetary donations, getting hands on to assemble toys or to go out and purchase items.
“The salvation army has done their own thing and they have been doing it for years but now we are just joining forces so instead of having several fragmented programs to help folks, we are just trying to pull all resources together,” Dowdy said.
The Secret Santa program adopts families and children that have needs, other than just gifting needs, for Christmas.  The families, who remain anonymous, at a designated time and place, pick up the presents and other items that were collected for them. Some presents are delivered to the homes.
“We are wanting to partner with whoever will partner with us and help meet the needs of as many families and children in Decatur County as we can,” Stacey Warren with Salvation Army said explaining the organizations coming together for a good cause this year.
Sherry Weaver with Decatur Community Cares said her organization is involved with those in the community that need assistance all year long. Her organization is able to nominate families for the Secret Santa program because they are physically around to see the great need for those in the community. She said the most rewarding part of helping in these homes is knowing she and other volunteers get to the be the hands and feet of Christ.
“We are in the homes and we see the needs of the children and what’s going on and just knowing you are being the hands and feet of Christ and showing them the unconditional love of God in a time that everyone else is home with their families,” Weaver said. “There are some who are going to be hungry and they are going to go without food and we are not so much as meeting the desires as we are serving the needs.”
For those interested in giving monetary donations, send money to Decatur County Family Connection at 2500 East Shotwell Street P.O. Box 990 Bainbridge, GA. 39818.
To adopt a family to purchase items for, see any of the above organizations mentioned including Live 101.9.
Also, volunteers are needed for other, more hands-on projects such as assembling swing sets and other toys for families. See those at these organizations to sign up or volunteer to distribute items this year.

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