Community helps DHR help more than 300 area families

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 29, 1999

Each year the Department of Human Resources in Butler County reaches out to help the area underprivileged over the holiday season. The project is not funded through the government, but through the generous giving of local businesses and individuals who make donations to help people less fortunate have a happier holiday.

This year, private donations from the community totaled more that $4,200, and according to DHR representative Carol Davenport, this money was used to help 205 families which include more than 600 children.

Davenport said that 50 more other families were assigned out to area churches, civic clubs and other organizations which used private fund raisers to provide gifts and support for the families.

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"We try to do something for every family that applies," Davenport said. "But, there is not a whole lot we can do."

She said the donations were used to provide at least one toy per child, per family, and to provide for the needs of the family. Davenport said applications for this extra assistance were prioritized based on need and circumstances of a given family.

She said that due to the increase in the number of families applying for assistance over the holidays, DHR is considering some changes in the criteria for that assistance in the future.

"This (assistance) is not something funded by tax dollars," Davenport said. "We have been coordinating this effort for the community for years but it comes strictly from private donations."

"I would like to see us help fewer families," she continued. "That way we would be able to do more for each family."

Davenport said the families were identified through a confidential application process, and that while some were families that DHR works with on an ongoing basis, most had simply fallen on temporary hard times.

Some of the individuals and organizations making donations and sponsoring assigned families include: McKenzie Elementary Student Council, Liberty Baptist Church, FBLA Greenville High School, L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital, Springhill Baptist Church, Georgiana High School SGA, St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Three Arts Club Georgiana, Hickory Street Church of Christ, Ceil Hamilton, FBC Children's Ministry, FBC Youth, Mary Green, St. Paul Methodist Church, Cracker Barrel, Woodland Heights Methodist Church, St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, FBLA Georgiana High School, MTI, Fort Dale Academy SGA, Greenville Kiwanis, Hampton Inn employees, Julie Swann, First Presbyterian Church Youth, Georgiana High School Spanish Club, Sharon Caddell, McKenzie School Spanish Club, Lucy McGowin, McKenzie School Student Council, Randy and Kim Harvill, Southside Baptist Church, Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, Steve McGowin and First United Methodist Church Preschool.