Give back or get help during the holidays in Polk
As the holiday season gets closer, one part of the spirit of giving is remembered each year by local law enforcement, agencies, organizations and others who want to give back to those less fortunate.
There’s a number upcoming drives and events happening in the community starting this weekend and continuing over the weeks to come worth celebrating, and to give people a chance to donate or receive help during this time of year, here’s a handy guide to what’s happening:
Stockings of Love: The most wonderful time of the year can also be the most expensive time of the year. Not every family can afford mountains of presents, extravagant dinners, or warm clothing, but with the help of Stockings of Love and Victory Baptist Church, not every family needs money to enjoy a wonderful holiday season. (See more on this program in this week’s edition on Page A11.)
Christmas is for Kids: The Rockmart Police Department is returning with its annual Christmas fundraiser, and those in need can sign up at 316 N Piedmont Ave. on Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. through 5 p.m to fill out an application.
Those accepted will receive toys for their children, but there are some requirements. Applicants must be the legal parent or guardian of the child receiving gifts and they must be a citizen of Rockmart or Aragon. When applying, be sure to bring a picture ID, birth certificates for each child, and two proofs of residency such as letters.
Those receiving aid from other Christmas drive agencies are not eligible for Christmas is for Kids.
Polk County Toys for Tots: As always, local churches, volunteers, businesses, and individuals donate new toys to the program each year. Low income and unemployed families are likely to receive something, and those interested can both apply or donate at https://www.toysfortots.org/.
A total of 548 million toys have been distributed to 251 million children since the program’s creation in 1947, many Polk children are included in that number.
Thanksgiving Outreach: Cedartown First United Methodist is looking to help out with Thanksgiving, and they hope to serve at least 75 later on November 21. Church members will be asked to prepare food items that will be portioned and delivered to hungry community members.
Those interested in helping out or receiving a meal should consider visiting the church at 201 Wissahickon Ave., Cedartown or contacting someone at https://www.facebook.com/CedartownFirstUnitedMethodistChurch/.
Ferst Books: Give a child the gift of reading by signing them up to Ferst Readers for free. Those ages birth to five can receive a free book every month through the mail, and each title is designed to grow and increase in complexity alongside them.
Those interested in signing up need only visit www.ferstreaders.org or call 888-565-0177 for more information.
Operation Christmas Child: Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Christmas Child, and local citizens are making sure youth have a Christmas to remember. To complete their goal, Operation Christmas recruits volunteers who fill and give away shoe boxes with tangible gifts such as toys, school supplies, and hygiene items.
Partaking in the operation is simple. Samaritans should fill shoe boxes with useful, fun gifts for children- soccer balls, book bags, dolls- grab a Follow Your Box Label online, and search for the nearest drop off location by visiting www.samaritanspurse.org/occ.
Operation Christmas Child began in 1993 and has since delivered 146 million shoe boxes to more than 160 countries and territories. Shoebox gifts are collected in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Finland, Spain, New Zealand and Japan. Nearly 500,000 volunteers worldwide are involved in collecting, shipping and distributing shoe box gifts. It is Samaritan’s Purse’s goal to deliver another 12 million in 2017 alone. National collection week is November 13th – 20th, 2017, so patrons should aim to have their boxes packed by the specified date.
Stocks Family Holiday Meal: Join the Stocks family for a meal, a coat drive, and other festive events on Saturday, Nov. 17 at the Nathan Dean Community Center on Rockmart’s Goodyear Avenue. Those with either time, money, or gifts to donate can contact Stocks at 678-719-1981.
Unbroken Covenant Church: Grab a bite to eat and help local families with the holidays at the Unbroken Covenant Church’s annual fundraiser. Hickory smoked hams, turkeys, and ribs will be served, and all proceeds will help the church help those in need.
Placing an order is as easy as calling 706-844-5645, and picking the meal up is as easy as visiting the corner of Cason Road and South Main St., Cedartown. Thanksgiving pickup is Nov. 21 from 12 through 4 p.m.; Christmas pickup is Dec. 24 from 12 through 4 p.m.