The Bryan County Children’s Fund is still in need of donations – whether it’s money, toys or clothes.
The Fund was created several years ago by Bryan County Family Connection as a way to help give every needy child in the county a Christmas to remember. Applicants for help are accepted through November and reviewed by a panel from the United Way and DFCS.
BCFC Coordinator Wendy Sims said 500 Bryan County kids fit the bill this year, which is more than ever before.
"I think the rise in the number of children has a lot to do with the economy and people losing their jobs," Sims said. "Things have been going well though. We’re left with about 75 kids that have yet to be sponsored, which isn’t bad considering we started with a need for 500. Not as many businesses helped out the fund this year, but we got a lot of help from churches."
If you would like to either give a donation or sponsor a child or family, you can do so at one of four locations - the Richmond Hill Police Department, RH Montessori School, Bryan County Sheriff’s Department and Pembroke Telephone Company – or by contacting Sims.
To sponsor a family, BCFC will provide a list of children in a particular family, which includes ages, clothes sizes and a ‘wish list’ from the children.
"The wish list indicates what the child is interested in - like Dora the Explorer, Spider Man and Hannah Montana," Sims said. "Beyond that, the fund looks to provide one outfit per child, including a pair of shoes and socks."
Sims said she is grateful to the Good ‘Ol Boys, who raised over $20,000 for the fund through the annual Santa Scramble golf tournament. She said an anonymous donor also gave the fund a much needed boost of $7,500.
If you’re unable to help by giving money or goods, there is another way to help the fund. Sims is looking for volunteers to help BCFC bag up all the goods for the 500 families, which will take place next week on both ends of the county. On Monday, Dec. 15, the bagging will take place at Pembroke Telephone from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
On Tuesday, Dec. 16, the bagging will take place at the Richmond Hill Police Department from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Finally, on Thursday, Dec. 18, BCFC needs help dispersing the bags to the families.
"We have 500 bags to fill with about 20-30 items going in each bag," Sims said. "It’s a crazy process, but we almost have it down to a science. We could use all the help we could get though."
For more information about the Bryan County Children’s Fund, contact Sims at 653-3824 or 756-3602.