Last year we served a record number of children 1,481 and that was an increase from 12 years ago when I took office, with about 700 children in 1996. So it has more than doubled in 12 years, Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson said. Our fundraising efforts dont seem to be able to keep up with the demands of the families that need help.
We are just asking that, if people could give whatever they can and if they can only give $3 to $5, that is great. There are some who could give more and we want to let them know that this serves all the needy families, needy children, countywide, Wilson said.
To donate: Checks can be mailed to Stocking Full of Love in care of the Walker County Sheriffs Department, P.O. Box 767, LaFayette GA 30728; or they can be dropped off at the Sheriffs Department at 105 S. Duke St.
The Stocking Full of Love has been around since 1989 and was started by the late Sheriff Al Millard. In the first year, the program served about 38 children.
We went from 38 children in 1989, to 1,481 in 2007, Wilson said.
According to Wilson, the program tries to give four gifts to each child.
So it takes a lot of toys, it takes a lot of money to fund this program, he said.
Wilson said there are concerns about the current economy and high unemployment rate and that the program may not get the response it has received in the past.
We are making that desperate appeal again for people to dig deep and I can assure them that it goes to a good cause, he said.
According to Wilson, the program is currently in the application process and taking applications through Nov. 30.
If a needy family needs assistance, they can pick up the applications at Rossville Police Department, the Walker County sheriffs office or the Department of Family and Children Services in Chickamauga, he said.
Click here to print an application.
The applications must be postmarked by Nov. 30. Once the applications are approved, the recipient will receive notification by mail.
We prefer monetary donations, which allows us to buy toys at a discount, Wilson said. But if someone has toys they want to donate, we are certainly not going to discourage that. If they would like to drop off a toy, they can do that at the sheriffs office or at Rossville Police Department in interim.
Volunteers needed for toy giveaway
Wilson said that the Stocking Full of Loves Toy Store will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Dec. 13 in the gym at Oakwood Baptist Church in Chickamauga. The Toy Store is where the distribution of Christmas gifts takes place.
We are also appealing for volunteers to help with the Toy Store. We need help on Friday evening, December 12, to set up the Toy Store. We will be unloading a tractor-trailer of toys, starting around 5 p.m. and will go until midnight, he said. We need volunteers to help unload and set up the Toy Store and then we need volunteers on Saturday, December 13, to help manage the Toy Store from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.,
Wilson said citizens could volunteer for either or both events by simply showing up and saying they want to be a volunteer. They can volunteer for one hour, two hours, or they can volunteer all day or all evening. That is totally up to the volunteers. There are no set hours or schedules.
More Stocking Full of Love fundraisers planned
All proceeds from both events go to the 2008 Stocking Full of Love.
The Blue Knights motorcycle run from Ridgeland High School to LaFayette High School concluded two weekends ago. The event raised about $800 in cash and $4,000 in toys from the ride. Around 400 motorcycles participated.
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