DOBSON — The Surry County Sheriff’s Office is looking for some last-minute donations to help ensure its holiday drive is successful.
For more than 25 years the Surry County Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with Surry County Schools, has worked to provide food, clothes and toys to Surry County kids in need.
“In the early 1990s, we began this project with what at the time seemed to be an ambitious effort to feed 50 families,” said Sheriff Jimmy Combs.
Over a quarter of a century, that project grew from just providing a Christmas dinner to giving gifts to children.
“Beginning all those years ago … we have provided a Christmas they would not have had otherwise,” said Combs.
“We have had a great response from Surry County businesses, churches, civic groups, volunteer fire departments and individuals,” said Combs. “But with the increased request of food boxes and the commitment to raise the amount from $100 a child to $125 a child, as of right now we are running short.”
As the sheriff said two months ago at the launch of the campaign, “Our goal is to make sure that every child has an adequate supply of food to get them through the school Christmas break, to ensure that each child has appropriate clothing to get them through the winter, and that each child can choose some toy or other item that they would like to have for Christmas. We believe that every boy and girl deserves to experience the joy and exhilaration of a happy Christmas morning with a full belly and warm clothes.”
Promises have been made to provide 230 food boxes as well as clothes and toys for 700 children, and as for now the money is not there to cover the cost, said Combs.
Sheriff Atkinson’s Give a Kid a Christmas will be assembling food boxes at Surry Central this morning, then comes a shopping trip on Tuesday to buy gifts for needy kids.
Food items have already been arriving at the high school, so the boxing will take place on schedule regardless of the unfortunate winter weather that has fallen, said Lauren Osborne, chief deputy. Everything has to be finished up before the kids return to school this coming week.
The sheriff’s office needs volunteers to assemble the boxes starting at 8 a.m. and must use its donations to pay for any food items not already received. Using money for today’s preparations reduces what the Christmas drive has to spend on children Tuesday when the sheriff leads a group of volunteers for an 8 a.m. shopping spree.
“We will be shopping at the Mount Airy Walmart for 700 children and we are hoping to spend $125 per child, so that runs into a lot of money,” he said. “We still need money to cover these costs as well as volunteers to help shop for and load gifts.”
“The community has never failed to answer the call for this effort to provide Christmas for those children, and I’m confident they will come through again this year, but it’s going to take a big push and a lot of willing hearts.”
“Imagine on Christmas morning, as you open your presents and spend time with your family,” said Combs, “you will have a warm feeling knowing that somewhere in Surry County a child just opened a present they would not have had, or they opened the refrigerator and there was food in it, all because you opened your heart.”
Anyone who wants to volunteer is invited.
Donations may be dropped off at the sheriff’s office in Dobson or mailed to:
Give a Kid a Christmas
P. O. Box 827
Dobson, NC 27017
Reach Jeff at 415-4692.