Hundreds of underprivileged children in Bryan County will have a merrier Christmas after bags filled with toys were handed out Monday as part of the Bryan County Children’s Fund.
The cause, sponsored by Bryan County Family Connection, has been in place for about 10 years and helps ensure less fortunate families receive Christmas gifts each year.
Tonya Thompson of Ellabell was one of the many families to receive a bag of gifts from the Children’s Fund. She said her family was thankful for the cause.
“It’s good they are reaching out and helping people in need,” she said.
Thompson, who has six children, said her family last participated in the program in 2009.
“They’ll be happy — we normally don’t celebrate (Christmas), so this will be something different,” she said.
Wendy Sims, BCFC director, said she thought this year’s event went well thanks to a mix of donations and child/family sponsorships.
“This year we served about 200 families, which translates into about 450 kids,” she said. “Really the community has been very willing to give, and about 90 percent were adopted out by churches, businesses and organizations.”
Sims said when a church, business or organization “adopts” a child or family, the organization provides at least one outfit — including socks, shoes, pajamas and a jacket — along with a few toys from children’s wish lists. Sims and other volunteers with the Children’s Fund shop for those children who aren’t sponsored with donated money.
“Obviously the Good Ole Boys (golf tournament) helped us tremendously, they’re our biggest supporter,” Sims said.
The golf tournament, held in November, helped raise about $15,000 for the cause this year.
“We did shop for some kids, but not nearly as many as in the past,” Sims said. “Since we are working with donated dollars, we try to be good stewards of those dollars.”
Read more in the Dec. 19 edition of the News.