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Jaycees get a jump on stocking stuffers

POSTED: November 30, 2008 5:00 a.m.

The Gainesville Jaycees want to make sure that needy children in Hall County are able to have gifts on Christmas.

With their Empty Stocking Fund, the Jaycees will provide $100 worth of gifts and necessities to about 450 children this year.

Empty Stocking Fund Director Britton Adams said the Jaycees went to Wal-Mart on Saturday morning to get a head start on the holiday shopping. He said it’s important to start early to make sure that they will be able to obtain the right size shoes and clothes for the children as well as pick out toys before the shelves are emptied for Christmas.

"If we can kind of get a jump on the Thanksgiving sales and all that we can have a better inventory," Adams said.

Adams said the Jaycees find the children through guidance counselors at local schools. They must be low-income but have at least one parent working. He said they also make sure the children are not participating in any similar programs.

"We certainly don’t want anyone to fall through the cracks but we don’t want anyone to take advantage of the system either," Adams said.

The Jaycees deliver the gifts to the children’s schools the first week of December, but Adams said the Jaycees collect money for the Empty Stocking Fund throughout the year.

He said guidance counselors will find the best way to send them home, so that hopefully, parents are able to give their children the gifts on Christmas.

Adams said despite the economy, more kids were able to participate in this year’s Empty Stocking Fund.

"There was the fear that giving would be down but we didn’t let that discourage us ... instead of doing less kids we’re actually doing more," Adams said.



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