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DHR readies for Thanksgiving, Christmas

By: Shayla Terry

With the start of November, the Crenshaw County Department of Human Resources (DHR) launched its charity programs.

DHR will begin with the Thanksgiving Food Drive. Non-perishable food items can be donated, as well as cash contributions at the DHR office. Cash contributions will be used to purchase can goods and non-perishable food items for the needy.

“Around Thanksgiving, people will come in and request food assistance from us,” said Crenshaw County DHR Director Kristi Maddox.

“We provide that assistance by way of can goods and non-perishable items through our food closet.”

DHR keeps a food closet year round, it is filled solely from the donations of the public.

“Year round we have the need for a food closet, because we use it to assist with other programs that we offer,” Maddox said.

“We really depend on the citizens to restock it.”

For Operation Santa Claus, DHR offers many ways to contribute. Contributors can choose to sponsor a child, family, elderly or disabled person. Another option is to just donate money. Funds will be used to purchase clothing and toys for children who are not sponsored.

“Each sponsor is asked to buy their recipient a toy and an outfit,” Maddox said.

In order to be a recipient of Operation Santa Claus, an application must be submitted to DHR. Requirements to be a recipient are the same as the SNAP (Food Stamps) Program offered through DHR. Children recipients must be between the ages two and 14.

Recipient applications will be accepted until Nov. 22. DHR is asking that all contributions be received at its office by Dec. 02.

“Last year we sponsored about 350-400 people, and we are hoping for the same or better this year.” Maddox said.

The Annual Christmas Parade in Luverne is also another opportunity for citizens to donate to the operation. The parade, sponsored by the Crenshaw County Chamber of Commerce, requires parade participants to donate toys to Operation Santa Claus. In addition, citizens may also bring toys to the parade to contribute to the cause.

“The Christmas parade last year was such a huge success,” Maddox said.

“I think it was the biggest one we’ve had. We really depend on the contributions from the parade.”

The Christmas Parade will be held on the first Saturday in December.

To become a sponsor for Operation Santa Claus, visit Crenshaw County DHR or contact Lee Sexton at (334) 334-7000.