Charities make Christmas merry

Friday, December 9, 2016
This boy is all smiles after receiving toys at last year's City Outreach Ministries distribution. (T-G File Photo by Jason Reynolds)

There are a number of local charitable drives going on this month to provide a Merry Christmas to people in need.

Those include:

* U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots. The program has the following locations as toy drop-off points: Corner Cleaners; Walgreens; First Community Bank; Shelbyville Power, Water & Sewerage; Cooper Steel; Century Mold; Big G Express; Arby's; and Dollar General on Madison Street.

Volunteers with the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots (not pictured) have lined up bicycles and other toys for distribution next week. (T-G Photo by Jason Reynolds)

Toys will be collected from the locations today and Saturday, said Col. Ken Crowell (retired). Toys should be new and unwrapped.

The charity is serving more than 1,300 children from 900 families, he said. They do not have enough bicycles to meet the requests.

To donate money, send a check to P.O. Box 2187, Shelbyville, TN 37162. Donations are tax-deductible.

* City Outreach Ministries. The ministry is seeking donations to help children 12 and under, said founder Scott Horn.

City Outreach's greatest needs include socks, underwear, shoes and coats. Monetary donations may be mailed to P.O. Box 497 or by calling 931-684-9984. The deadline is Dec. 17. Items may be dropped of at the Times-Gazette office as well.

* Christy's Cuddlies for Clera. Christy and Caine Warren collect personal care items every year for residents of nursing homes. They need donations by Saturday. Suggested items include: socks and booties for men and women; handkerchiefs; combs; pocket size tissues; throws; lotion; scarves; wall calendars and men's caps.

Call Christy Warren at 931-684-1781 to donate.

* BackPacks Program. This ministry provides food boxes for school children over breaks and weekends. School guidance counselors distribute the food to the students.

Youth group volunteers from First Presbyterian and Edgemont Baptist churches will pack up food for Christmas break on Sunday evening, said coordinator Richard Smith. Both churches took up special offerings for the food.

They are packing up 120 boxes, down a little from last year, he said.

"I think that is a good sign," Smith said.

They are packing enough food for a 20-day break, which is a little longer than in the past (about 17 or 18 days), he said.

His school contact says the recipient families have expressed appreciation, he said.

Donations are always welcome, Smith said. To help, make a check out to First Presbyterian to the attention of the BackPacks Program.

* Big Brothers. The United Veterans Council along with the American Legion, DAV and VFW will again be providing Christmas food for needy veterans and families in our community. Please call 931-685-4838 from 2-5 p.m. beginning Monday, Dec. 12 and ending Friday, Dec. 16. No calls will be accepted before the times and dates listed.