The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

December 19, 2013

Toy donations fuel Christmas cheer for teens

Finding a colorful assortment of presents under the tree and goodie-filled stockings over the fireplace is a common Christmas-morning tradition, and there are multiple organizations striving to ensure older children from low-income families also experience the joy of unwrapping a shiny new toy.

Officials with the Athens-Limestone Family Resource Center said Christmas assistance programs provide ample aid to area families, but added there is still a need for presents geared toward teenagers.

To help fill this void, the FRC has set up a Christmas program to both educate parents and include teens in the gift-giving season.

“We were aware that the Toys for Tots and the Salvation Army Angel Tree (programs) have been gracious enough to provide toy items for children ages 0-12,” said Amber Anderson, the director of client services and programs at the FRC. “The Family Resource Center aimed to fill the gaps of children ages 13-18 that may otherwise not be able to get to share the same Christmas experience as their younger siblings.”

She said local churches, agencies and community members helped the FRC gather toys for the teens, with 21 families registering for this year’s program.

Before gifts are distributed, Anderson said parents are required to complete a one-hour continuing education class on budgeting for Christmas or a parenting class on childhood bullying.

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