Annual Sharing at Christmas drive to kick off Nov. 10

Each holiday season for the past 32 consecutive years, Union County families finding themselves in a less fortunate position than most have had the opportunity to apply for food assistance and toys, in the case of families with children.

The New Albany Gazette’s “Sharing at Christmas” program has helped make the holidays a bit brighter for many Union County families over the past 32 years, but not without the unselfish contributions of time and effort from Union County citizens, the Union County Sheriff and his Department, The New Albany Police Department, the Union County Board of Supervisors and road crews, New Albany Light and Power, the staff of The New Albany Gazette and many, many more.

Resident families of Union County in need of assistance will be able to apply for the “Sharing at Christmas” program on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2007 at The New Albany Gazette offices between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and noon. When the applications are collected, approximately 250 families will be selected. Selection is based on need through a careful screening process. Applicants must provide information about residents in each home, income, benefits received and any special needs. The newspaper does no conduct the screening. Each selected family will receive a large box of food. Families with children will also receive toys based on age and gender. Application forms will be available at city and county schools, as well as churches, for those unable to apply at the Gazette office.

“All of us at the newspaper assign a special importance to this program each year,” said publisher Jim Gray, and every year when we see our city and county officials, our readers, our advertisers and the dozens of citizens who volunteer to pack food boxes and select toys, we are reminded of the blessing we share by living in Union County. Some volunteers have been doing so for years and some are new, but all join together to share with those in need.”

This year the volunteers will again deliver the boxes to the selected families a few days before Christmas.

“Sharing at Christmas” accepts donations of money and new toys from Union County individuals, businesses and civic groups to go toward helping these families. A fund raising goal of $25,000 has been set for 2007 in order to continue to help at least as many families as in years before and hopefully more. Donations may be sent to “Sharing at Christmas”, Post Office Box 300, New Albany, Mississippi 38652-0300.