Christmas fund distributing toys

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 19, 2001

FERRIDAY, La. – Volunteers of the Concordia Christmas Charity Fund will hand out bags full of groceries and toys to about 235 families this morning at Ferriday High School’s cafeteria.

The program, now in its 13th year, is open each year to low-income families, with eligibility verified through local social service agencies.

Applications for assistance are distributed mostly through the parish’s churches, schools and governmental agencies.

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&uot;There’s definitely a great need for this,&uot; said Chris Vaughan, who is co-chairing this year’s effort with the Rev. Freddie Schiele. &uot;So much needs to be done. We’re just offsetting it a little bit.&uot;

&uot;There’s a lot of people who are not able to get toys and other things for their children at Christmas,&uot; Schiele said.

&uot;I’ve been working with this for several years, and I can tell you there’s a need,&uot; he added.

Families who qualified for the program have been notified to pick up their groceries – and toys for children ages 12 and younger – from 9 to 11 a.m. today at Sevier Memorial United Methodist Church in Ferriday.

Volunteers met at the church Wednesday afternoon to sort applications and bag groceries and toys.

As of Wednesday, the fund had raised $16,380 in donations to buy the toys and groceries – up from the more than $15,000 that was raised last year.

The Concordia Christmas Charity Fund accepts donations year-round, so additional donations will be put toward next year’s goal.

Last year, about 240 families received food and toys through the program.