The annual Christmas drive at the Fannin County Children’s Center is already going full steam ahead. Staff and volunteers have been gathering lists of wishes and needs of the children, youth and families served by both CASA and the Children’s Advocacy Center. Faithful donors and supporters have already started contacting the center too in order to find out how they can be a part of the effort. Teddy bear trees are already up at many locations in the community to make sure the Christmas wishes and needs get filled.
Last year, the Children’s Center gave presents of clothing, coats, shoes, toys and other gifts to 262 children and youth who were being served by the Children’s Center’s two primary programs: CASA and the Children’s Advocacy Center. “This year we already know of at least 235 children in need,” said Sandy Barber, Executive Director of the Children’s Center. “We expect this number to grow before we are all done this holiday.”
Some of the children helped by this project are living in foster homes, away from family and friends. Other children have gone to live with grandparents or other relatives as a result of abuse or neglect. Many of these families struggle financially when one or more children suddenly come to live with them. In other families, the discovery of sexual abuse in the home has meant the loss of family income when the offender leaves.
Center staff and volunteers take the time to find out about the individual situation, needs, preferences and wishes of each child. The agency also works closely with Child Protective Services and other community agencies to ensure that efforts are coordinated and not duplicated.
Donations of cash, toys, new clothes, coats, shoes and other items are now being accepted. Teddy bear trees, which contain the wish or need of a specific child, are up or will soon be up at the Tax-Assessor Collector’s Office, First National Bank of Trenton (Bonham, Trenton and Leonard branches), WalMart, Legend Bank, Blessings and Butterflies, Cole Title, Bonham Smiles, Tractor Supply and Warrior Tire. For donors who are short on time, the center also accepts cash donations which will be used to purchase gifts for the children.
Donations can be brought or mailed to the center at 112 West Fifth Street, Bonham, Texas 75418. The center is open 8 am to 5 pm, Monday – Friday. Organizers ask that the donations arrive by Dec 14, or earlier if possible. This will allow time for gifts to be sorted and delivered in time for the holidays. Checks should be made out to FCCC and indicate they are for Christmas. Donations can also be made by credit or debit card on the center’s website. All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law. For more information, call 903-583-4339 or visit www.fanninccc.org.
For Christmas gifts for kids
- Toys for children under 3
- Gift cards and other gifts for teenagers
- Movies & music (rated G & PG only please)
- Craft kits, markers, coloring books, etc.
- Board games and books
- Footballs, basketballs, soccer balls
- Perfume, cologne, bath sets & make-up sets
- Jewelry & watches
- Purses, wallets, make-up bags & backpacks
- Gift cards for clothing and discount stores
- New clothing, coats & shoes for children ages 0-17
- Wrapping paper, gift bags, tissue paper and tape
For the Children’s Center
- Individually wrapped snacks, bottled water & juice boxes
- Clorox wipes
- Copy paper, legal pads, office supplies
- Paper towels, plates, napkins, cups, plastic forks, etc
- Journals, coloring books for teens, paints, markers, play-doh & other craft materials for therapy sessions