Children Services launching holiday program

With the holidays right around the corner, many people have already begun seasonal preparations. In all the ensuing hustle and bustle, however, those who need the most help can be easily forgotten.

Franklin County Children Services is currently serving more that 5,000 children who have been abused or neglected, and they need residents’ help to make sure those children have a happy holiday as well.

The agency’s Holiday Wish program is a way for the community to help make those children’s wishes come true.

Each child under the care of Franklin County Children Services wishes for one gift. Through volunteers and donors, those wishes are made possible. Children aged 11 and under wish for a gift worth $40, and children aged 12-18 receive $50 gift certificates.

Although some of these children will spend the holidays at home, many will be with foster parents or relatives, or in residential care. For some, this may be the only chance to experience the spirit of the season.

Children Services is currently accepting tax-deductible cash donations, along with any kind of toy donation.

There is another way to help without ever reaching into your pocket.

The agency is also in need of volunteers to help sort toys and process the children’s holiday gifts.

The Holiday Workshop is located on the Westside, at 855 W. Mound St. The project runs through December.

Although volunteers are needed for all hours, the most need is weekdays during normal work hours, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The agency is accepting both individual volunteers and groups.

The Holiday Wish program has been in existence for over 30 years with the help of thousands of community members, businesses, churches, organizations and civic groups.

Those looking for additional information concerning volunteer opportunities with Children Services should attend an informational meeting Nov. 12. To register, call the Children Services Volunteer Office at 275-2690.

Those wishing to make a donation to the project can call Holiday Wish at 275-2525.

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