Making Christmas wishes come true

The DHR Chirstmas Wishes program has been a success in large part to people like (left to right) David Powell, Tim Byant, Marilyn Colson, Cathy Stanley, Shannon Crowe, Jennie Miller, Francine Lewis, Janet Seales, Trayce Chancellor, Tamela Minor and Shawn Nix. (Photo by Anthony Richards)

The DHR Chirstmas Wishes program has been a success in large part to people like (left to right) David Powell, Tim Byant, Marilyn Colson, Cathy Stanley, Shannon Crowe, Jennie Miller, Francine Lewis, Janet Seales, Trayce Chancellor, Tamela Minor and Shawn Nix. (Photo by Anthony Richards)

No one should be left out during the holidays and the Chilton County Department of Human Resources is striving to make that belief a reality.

The annual DHR Christmas Wishes program is in full swing once again and has taken place each year since Marilyn Colson took over as DHR Director 10 years ago.

As of November, there are 101 children in foster care within Chilton County.

According to DHR reports, about 35 of those children remain in need of sponsors for Christmas.

“This is the time of year that I start worrying if we are going to make it,” Colson said. “This community does a great job of taking care of its own.”

There are several ways that people can get involved with the Christmas Wishes program including sponsoring a specific child by purchasing a gift or providing a financial donation that DHR will use to purchase an item. Gift cards are recommended for teenagers.

The gifts and donations should be received by Dec. 12.

However, Colson stressed that it is important to have a large portion of the sponsorship full prior to Black Friday.

Without the help of donations, several foster kids would miss out on the experiences that create lasting memories of the holiday season.

“Foster parents receive a small amount to take care of a foster child, but there is no way that they can provide for Christmas,” Colson said.

Colson grew up in Maplesville and was a social worker at the previous hospital for 17 years.

“We’ve had well over 100 foster parent adoptions in the last 10 years since I’ve been here,” Colson said. “The gifts are great, but at the end of the day the majority of kids want to be home with their family.”

To sponsor a child’s Christmas or for details about the program, call (205) 280-2000 or email marilyn.colson@dhr.alabama.gov. Gifts can be dropped of at the Chilton DHR office located on Airport Road next to the National Guard Armory.

“On behalf of the foster children, foster parents and all of the social workers at DHR, I wish to thank everyone who is helping make this project such a success,” Colson said.

 

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