By Johnny Jackson
Thousands will benefit from this year's Henry Community Christmas for Needy Families Program.
The annual initiative is a part of a countywide effort by the non-profit, community organization, Connecting Henry, Inc., to provide Christmas gifts and assistance to needy families.
About 1,000 sponsors have already joined the effort this year. Officials say, however, that many more are needed to help support the more than 1,300 families expected to enroll in the program. Some 300 needy families have yet to be sponsored.
"You're helping the less fortunate in times of need," urged Susan Crumbley, an administrative assistant with Connecting Henry.
Today, Connecting Henry is conducting final interviews to help needy families in Henry County. The interviews, lasting from 9 a.m., until noon, will be held at the Stockbridge Presbyterian Church, located at 4740 North Henry Blvd., in Stockbridge. Two dozen volunteers will be on hand to help with the process.
Connecting Henry, a networking group that is a member of the statewide Family Connection Partnership organization, serves as a clearing house for needy families and individuals throughout Henry County, year round.
This Christmas season, the group is hoping the community will join in mass in its efforts to support the needy. Six days a week, volunteers are busy collecting donations - toys, blankets, and coats - at the Connecting Henry warehouse, located at 371 McDonough Parkway in McDonough.
Tax-deductible, monetary donations are being collected at the Connecting Henry office, at 333 Phillips Drive in McDonough.
Those looking to get involved, may make donations, or may choose to partner with other individuals, organizations or businesses in sponsoring a needy family.
A group at Mercer University's Regional Academic Center in McDonough has decided to form a partnership in its fourth year participating in the Community Christmas program.
Crystal Frazier, and several others at the center, are working in conjunction with Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church. The church is located at 397 Racetrack Road in McDonough.
The collaboration will attempt to serve 100 children from 28 needy families in the area. The partners plan to host a toy drive in December, collecting children's toys through Dec. 15. They plan to deliver the toys to the families on Dec. 21.
On the net:
Connecting Henry: www.gafcp.org/fcnetwork/henry