Dalton/Whitfield Community Christmas is a community-based project designed to provide Christmas for children in Whitfield County who are living in poverty or whose families’ circumstances might prevent them from receivng Chrsitmas gifts. Over the past years, several different approaches have been taken to provide Christmas to the families in our community. In May of 2010, a sampliing of representative from various community agencies came together and formed a committee in an attempt to create a collaborative community Christmas program. Our goals are simple:
- Provide a similar Christmas for families that we desire for our own families
- Address the complete needs of families and provide resources to help them be able to create their own Christmases in the future
- Protect the families’ dignity by allowing them to choose and give the gifts to their children as well as celebrate Christmas in their own ways.
- Create an equality throughout the community of gifts that families will receive.
- Work together as a whole community to build parent capacity and empower families.
- Based on these goals, the Sharing is Caring Christmas Club was created to allow families to have access to resources to allow them to provide their own Christmases in the future. The process is as follows:
- In August, families are given letters that detail the project and give them a schedule of club meetings in the community which are held at various locations and times, and cover various topics. Topics include budgeting, communication, cooking with leftovers, parenting tips, and helping your child be successful in school. Parents are asked to attend 3 meetings during the month of September and October where they will receive a certificate of attendance.
- The week of November 7-11, the Salvation Army holds an Application Week where families bring their 3 certificates and identification for those in the household. They are helped to complete an application and are given a date and time to come and shop at the Christmas Store in December.
- December 15 (from 1pm – 8pm) December 16 from (1pm – 08pm) and December 17 (from 10am – 4pm), the community will be holding the Sharing is Caring Christmas Store at the North Georgia Fairgrounds. Parents come at their designated times to pick out three items per each child to give ot their child at Cristmas. The Store is held in two buildings. In one of those buildings, parents shop for items at their designated times. In the other building, is a Christmas Party atmosphere, with snack for families, and stories and crafts or the children. Volunteers will be asked to sing up to help with various roles staring November 9. On Monday, December 12 at 12pm and 6pm – a volunteer training will be held at the North Georgia Fairgrounds.
We are relying on the generosity and volunteerism in our community to make this process work. Volunteers will not only donate time in various roles, but also a financial donation in the form of gifts, items and money which will enable the store to be stocked with needed items.
* For families who choose not to participate in the Community Christmas, they will be given information about the Providence Ministries Christmas Day Celebration which includes a service, meal, and gift give away.
To mail in financial donation: Sharing is Caring Christmas Club Fund C/O Jackie Taylor 405 School Street Dalton GA 30720 Make checks payable to “United Way” and in the FOR: line Sharing is Caring Christmas Club.