The ninth annual Christmas at Home food and toy drive wrapped up just shortly after Christmas day 2012 and once again, despite the economic climate across the country, the annual drive was once again a huge success, coming close to the records that were set just a year ago in 2011.
When all totals were in, a total of 229 homes were assisted, and more importantly, 491 children benefitted from the program this year. That is just a little over 40 children less than the record 533 who received assistance the previous year, according to event organizer Pam Allred.
The program is sponsored annually by the City of Albany, Clinton County Fiscal Court, Chamber of Commerce, WANY radio and Clinton County News. As usual, city of Albany water and street department employees were charged with delivering the food and toys to the homes that had been added to the list of families who could use help from the program.
Allred noted that the event began being promoted in early November and although the number of churches participating this year was down a little, to around 13 participating, there was at least one extra business taking part. Thanks to the generosity of individuals citizens and the community, including various schools and organizations, there was enough food and toys to meet the need.
Allred theorized that one reason church participation was down a little was because many churches have their own type of outreach programs during the holiday season.
Deliveries began being made December 19 and although most were delivered by the December 21, due to some addresses being unable to be located right away, some were later, but nonetheless delivered to those families whose names were on the list.
Albany Mayor Nicky Smith was very pleased with the overall outcome of the 2012 Christmas at Home event, noting that it was again a huge success, and one of the more successful in the nine years of the program’s existence.
The mayor noted that despite a poor economy, people of the community came together to once again show the generosity of people all across Albany and Clinton County.
“I’d like to thank everyone who took part in any way,” the mayor said. He primarily thanked all those who donated, including groups and individuals, and volunteers that worked to make the event a success, especially city employees who donated time to wrap gifts and make deliveries to the homes.”
Both Allred and Mayor Smith noted that volunteers are always an important aspect in such an undertaking and hope…and invite, more volunteers to take time to help during the 2013 program, noting it is for a worthy, beneficial cause.
A listing of all participating businesses, churches, etc. will be published in an upcoming edition of the Clinton County News, and again…thanks to everyone who participated in any way in making the 2012 Christmas at Home event another great success.