By Linda Looney-Bond
Members of one local family said Christmas will be brighter this year thanks to gifts of toys, food, and monetary donations presented this week by the Clayton County Sheriff's Office.
Cindy Bellamy, of Hampton, has not been able to provide much for her five children at Christmas for the past several years, according to Sgt. Sonja Sanchez, spokesperson for the Sheriff's Office.
"The Clayton County Sheriff's Office Community Relations Division has reached out to our local community, and received donations from Sheriff's Office employees, in support of the family during the holiday season," Sanchez said.
"It's awesome. My kids are loving it. I know they're going to continue to talk about it, and talk about it," said Bellamy, 33.
Her daughters, Aylicia, 10, and LaAgnes, 12, along with her son, Teon, 13, were also present to receive gifts.
Bellamy's 8-year-old twin boys, Shamara and Keshawn, were previously diagnosed with serious illnesses. Shamara has battled Leukemia, and Keshawn has been diagnosed with a brain tumor, according to Bellamy.
"Due to the severe illnesses of the twins, Ms. Bellamy has been traveling frequently between Egleston and St. Jude's Hospital for treatment," Sanchez said in a written statement. "This has been an extreme hardship on the family."
Bellamy said the twins' illnesses are currently in remission, but said they continue to receive regular check-ups from doctors.
"It is important that we never forget what is really our calling," Clayton County Sheriff Kem Kimbrough said during the gift presentation on Tuesday. "And our calling is to support good people and good things," he said.
Among contributors to the family, Walmart donated gift cards and other items, according to Anece Evans, personnel manager of the Walmart in Morrow.
"This is what we should be doing, building communities," she said.