United Way gives to impact kids’ Christmases

Published 5:31 pm Tuesday, November 21, 2017


Chilton County United Way provides two-thirds of its services to children. Christmastime seems to be a particular time when this impact is demonstrated by the nonprofit organization.

Chilton County United Way pulled a double-whammy on Nov. 21 when checks funding child-focused Christmas services were presented to representatives of the Chilton County Department of Human Resources and the Fraternal Order of Police at the United Way office in Clanton.

Sheriff John Shearon accepted a check supporting Operation Santa Claus, an annual FOP fundraiser, which is scheduled to complete collection and packaging of toys for children on Dec. 19 at the Fraternal Order of Police Smith-Dale Lodge.

“We took it over from DHR in 2002, so we’ve been doing it ever since then,” Shearon said. “[It is] to help the less fortunate children of Chilton County have a smile on their face Christmas morning — give them toys and stuff like that … We try to investigate it as much as we possibly can to try to get the really, really needy families.”

Shearon said FOP representatives and their families typically collect and package items the Tuesday before Christmas each year. This year, project day lands on Dec. 19.

Donations will be collected until then.

Leigh Ann Boddie and Janet Seales of DHR accepted checks supporting Foster Children Christmas and the DHR yearlong distribution of school supplies to children in the foster system.

Seales said for Foster Children Christmas, children in the foster system fill out wish lists, and then DHR collects sponsors and monetary donations to supply the children’s desired gifts.

“We try and get what they want,” Seales said.

DHR hosts a Christmas party for the foster children, and each child receives a gift at the party, Boddie said.

“We entertain the children and give them the gift while the foster parents are picking up their Christmas at the back of the building, so that they don’t see it,” Seales said.

Seales and Boddie said Foster Children Christmas has been a long-standing service provided by DHR, and is improving with each year.

Executive Chairperson Yolanda Boggs of Chilton County United Way presented the checks to Shearon, Boddie and Seales, expressing United Way’s gratitude for the special services provided to Chilton families and children in need during the holiday season.