BY SANDI P. BEASON
TUPELO – For its 10-year anniversary, Hearts in Motion is doing what it does best: Helping others.
“We're doing the same thing,” said director Vicky Porter. “We're looking for donations. We need funds. We don't know what the Christmas lists will be.”
Over the past decade, the agency has worked with school guidance counselors, nursing home activity directors and others to find people who have “fallen through the cracks” at Christmastime. Volunteers gather the wish lists, solicit donations and go on a shopping spree the first week of December, and distribute the gifts before Christmas.
This year, Porter said, the group will provide Christmas gifts to approximately 60 children, and more than 20 seniors.
“We work with The Salvation Army to make sure we don't duplicate” with the Angel Tree program, she said. “We work with the counselors at schools, and depend on their judgment.”
Hearts in Motion spends roughly $60-75 per child, and $20 per senior citizen, she estimated.
“This is not just Santa Claus for children,” she added. “It's also to help people who are having a hard time. I've gone grocery shopping for people before.”
Jerry Bristow, who said he supports the agency but is not as active as Porter, said Porter spends a lot of time investigating needs.
“People come up with these names, and they're all very deserving,” he said. “This is a year-round type thing, too. It's not just Christmas. There are so many things that people need.”