The Empty Stocking Fund is still short of its $15,000 goal which it hopes to get to help more than 78 families and 200-plus children have a merry Christmas. The money will go to provide toys for them.’We’ve collected $12,300 in monies and toys,’ said organizer Vicki Forsyth. ‘We need a little more to finish up the last minute families that have been referred to us that fell through the cracks.’Rock Springs and First United Methodist churches have angel trees set up. DBs Pizzeria also has an angel tree set up or people can drop off a toy and see Debbie Adamson for a free beverage.Aldora Methodist Church has donated food boxes for each family. Buggy Town Auctions will have a toy auction Saturday, Dec 20. It has already held one such auction. Donations of toys and money for ESF can be dropped off at the city fire department.In addition to a large donation from United Bank and its employees, Bankston’s and the Ministerial Association have made donations but more is needed.Donations can also be turned in to the Chamber by 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 22. Any donations made after this day will be put towards next year’s Empty Stocking Fund.’We have our big distribution on Saturday, Dec. 20, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. in the United bank parking lot with Santa,’ said Forsyth. ‘Our final distribution will be Tuesday, Dec. 23. We’ll take any and all donations up to then.’Those interested in donating or adopting a family can call Forsyth at 770-584-6096.Forsyth’s share of the Toys for Toys applications came to 100 kids while A.D. Smith Community Service ended up with 80 applications.The two sets are being compared for duplicate families with Griffin’s Marine Corps League Detachment 1196 Toys for Tots. Hope Tree Ministries, which is also collecting for children, will also be double-checking its list of families in need.With Toys for Tots, assistance is based on the number of gifts donated so new, unwrapped toys to distribute to families are being collected all over town. Drop off new toys at the EPRC, Walgreen’s, the Barnesville fire station and sheriff’s office.’We’re still needing donations,’ said Smith.For information on donating to Toys for Tots call April Smith at 770-358-3311 or Suzanne Cooper at 706-975-5809.The Hope Tree Ministry is asking for donations of dry, canned and boxed goods and perishable items. Food drives are being held at First Baptist and the Barnesville- Lamar County Library through Dec. 20.Hope Tree also needs donations of new and slightly used toys and clothing for children ages 3-10 for Christmas gifts. All donations may be dropped off at First Baptist Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.Monetary donations can be hand delivered or mailed to Rev. Jimmy Fambro in care of First Baptist at 200 Zebulon St., Barnesville, 30204. Donations are tax deductible and a statement will be provided upon receipt.Households in need of aid for Christmas should call B.J. Fambro at 770-358-2792 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. so she will know how many children need help.
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