The Cherokee County Senior Services' Adopt-A-Senior Program needs financial donations to purchase sweaters and throw blankets for seniors in need.
Nathan Brandon, director of the department, said its volunteers are filling this need, as the Cherokee Sheriff's Office Reserve Unit's Christmas Joy program is buying gifts and basic necessities for the seniors.
The Adopt-A-Senior Program helped about 250 seniors last year, and Brandon expects to aid at least the same total this year.
For information, call (770) 704-2320 and leave a message. All calls will be returned.
New, unwrapped toys are needed for the U.S. Marine Corps' Reserve Toys for Tots program.
The program in Cherokee is being coordinated by the Marine Corps League Woodstock Detachment 1131 and is part of the larger metro Atlanta Toys for Tots program.
Joe Kraft, senior vice commandant for the Woodstock detachment, said the focus now is getting businesses to serve as drop-off points in Cherokee. Drop-off sites are listed on the website at www.atlantatoysfor tots.com.
Kraft said the detachment also is accepting financial donations for the program's operations.
"Even the smallest donations can make a big difference," he said.
For information, call (678) 225-4599.
The Salvation Army plans to help about 193 county children in need of Christmas gifts through its Angel Trees program.
The organization puts up Christmas trees in various locations throughout Cherokee. Each tree contains as many as 25 paper ornaments, and each ornament includes a child's name and what he or she wants for Christmas.
People who visit local businesses are invited to take a paper ornament and purchase the requested gifts.
Trees are in Canton at Cracker Barrel, Ryan's Family Steak House and the Salvation Army Thrift Store; at Family Tradition restaurant in Hickory Flat and at BJ's Wholesale Club in Woodstock.
Those who choose to purchase gifts for children can drop them off at the Salvation Army Thrift Store in Canton, which schedules pick-up dates for the recipient families.
For information, call Cathy Monroe at (770) 720-4316.
The Woodstock Police Department is accepting donations for its annual Shop With A Cop program.
The children will shop for themselves and their families at 7 p.m. on Dec. 10 at the Walmart Supercenter on Highway 92 in Woodstock.
Officer Kimberly Thomas, who coordinates the program, said she already has 134 kids signed up to participate this year. There were 92 children who participated last year.
"A lot of people are having issues with the economy," she said of the increase.
The department needs about $10,000 to make sure all the children are covered this year, Officer Thomas said.
For information, call Officer Thomas at (770) 592-6000, ext. 1115.
The Canton Police Department is preparing for its Shop With A Cop initiative as well. The children will shop at the Walmart on RiverStone Parkway in Canton at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 16.
Cpl. Stacy Bailey said the department expects about 20 children to participate this year and she would like to provide at least $100 to each child.
The department also is setting up a collection box for new, unwrapped toys that its Explorers program participants will deliver to families in need. The collection box will be at Canton City Hall at 151 Elizabeth Street through Dec. 22.
For information, call Cpl. Bailey at (770) 720-4883.
The Cherokee Sheriff's Office Reserve Unit expects to see demand hold steady for its Christmas Joy program.
Sgt. John Forkin, coordinator of the program, said he expects to help about 250 children and 100 seniors in need. The initiative helped 258 children and 105 seniors last year, he added.
Funds donated are used to purchase gifts for children and food and basic necessities for seniors. Forkin said he needs about $15,000 to comfortably run the program. So far, about $7,000 has been raised.
For information, call (770) 479-4766, ext. 21.
Between 150 and 170 children are expected to benefit from the Cherokee County Department of Family and Children Services' Secret Santa Program.
The program provides Christmas presents to foster children, and financial donations and sponsors willing to buy gifts are needed.
Ann Feczko, coordinator of the program, said last year it helped about 200 children. She noted the decline can be attributed to the department working more on the front end to prevent placing children in foster care.
Ms. Feczko said she wants to raise at least $10,000, which also will be used for other services for foster children. The department, she said, has seen a 60-percent decrease in its donations in the past two years, but added the county always comes through for the children.
"I'm always impressed with Cherokee County," she said. "People are very generous, and they just want to take care of the kids."
For information, call Ms. Feczko at (678) 427-9393.
MUST Cherokee is accepting donations for its efforts to help less fortunate children receive a decent Christmas.
Special Projects Coordinator Katherine Petty said the MUST Top Shop needs new, unwrapped toys for children ranging in age from infant to 18.
She noted they have a harder time getting gifts for teenagers, so those are especially needed.
The charity helped 1,823 children last year, and she said she's expecting that need to increase.
"We are trying to prepare to assist for even more," she added.
Volunteers also are needed to help man the Toy Shop, which will be open in Canton from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays from Dec. 6 to 17.
Its Secret Santa shop, where children shop for gifts for their parents, will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 20 through 22.
For information, call (770) 479-5397, ext. 3107.
Papa's Pantry in Towne lake plans to feed about 44 families through its Adopt-A-Family program for Christmas.
Families who can't afford to have Christmas on their own are partnered with adoptive families who are able to help.
Lynne Saunders, founder and executive director of Papa's Pantry, said the nonprofit needs more adoptive families.
New, unwrapped items that can be used as stocking stuffers and unwrapped gifts for children and teenagers also are needed, as are holiday food and financial donations.
Volunteers are needed to help throughout the Christmas season. An orientation session will be held for new volunteers from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Dec. 8 at the pantry's office at 6551 Commerce Parkway, Suite 200.
For information, call Mrs. Saunders at (770) 591-4730.
Mrs. Saunders said she believes the county will once again come through for the community's families in need.
"Things always go fine," she said. "There are times we pray through it, but God always comes through."