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Will Empty Stocking Fund be filled in time for Christmas?

By Sherri Ellington Vicki Forsyth and other Empty Stocking Fund volunteers became a part of the Black Thursday shopping frenzy on Thanksgiving, starting at 4 p.m. and finishing at 7:30 a.m. on Friday. At the Business After Hours on Thursday, turnout numbered around 100 people at United Bank for food, fun and fellowship while they supported the charity with cash donations and toys at the annual ESF event. There, they received thousands of dollars in donations, led off by bank employees, and two Christmas trees laden with new toys. The charity aims to help 78 families and 204 children have a merry Christmas; volunteers aim to raise $15,000 to provide toys for them. Her half of the Toys for Tots applications came to 100 kids. ’Boot drives have been extremely slow,’ said Forsyth. ‘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 has collected several boxes of toys for children up to age 12 with a toy auction held Dec 6. A second one is set for Saturday, Dec 20. ’Cary and Chuck Bankston made generous donations before Thanksgiving that enabled us to take advantage of the great Black Friday sales,’ said Forsyth. ‘The Ministerial Association made a generous donation that was much needed after our shopping spree.’ Families approved for ESF can be adopted by individuals, organizations, churches and businesses. Those interested can call Forsyth at 770-584-6096. Donations of toys and money can be dropped off at the city fire department. The most requested items are Doc McStuffins and Frozen items for girls and Ninja Turtles for boys. Today is the last day to sign up for Toys for Tots at the E.P. Roberts Center. The A.D. Smith Community Service and Lamar County sheriff’s office teamed up with Griffin’s Marine Corps League Detachment 1196 Toys for Tots. Applications are being accepted through 3 p.m. today. Applicants must come in to complete an application. Requirements include a valid photo ID and Social Security numbers for each child. Assistance is based on the number of gifts donated. For information call April Smith at 770-358-3311 or Suzanne Cooper at 706-975-5809. New, unwrapped toys to distribute to families are being collected. Drop off new toys at the EPRC, Southern Rivers Energy, Ace Hardware, Akins Farm and Home, CVS Pharmacy, Giant Mart, Ingle’s, Roses, Walgreens, the Barnesville fire station and sheriff’s office.

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