Season of Wishes: Concordia Christmas Charity Fund spreads holiday spirit

Published 12:56 am Wednesday, November 29, 2017


FERRIDAY — Thanks to the generosity of Concordia Parish businesses, churches, school groups and individuals, the Concordia Christmas Charity Fund was able to help approximately 950 people in 2016.

Fund Chair Rena Pitts said she hopes to see that love and true spirit of the Christmas season continue this year as the program aims to provide groceries and toys to families in need.

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“It is just really heart warming to know people are considerate enough to think about children and other families that don’t have food,” Pitts said.

Last year, the fund was able to distribute toys or gift cards to 500 children and a bag of groceries to 280 families and senior citizens. In 2015, the fund helped more than 815 people.

“The people are so appreciative that they will stop you on the street and say, ‘Aren’t you the lady who helps with the Christmas Fund?’” Pitts said. “I will say, ‘I am one of them.’

“People will then say things like, ‘Thank you. My grandchildren got toys for Christmas, and they would not have had toys if not for the fund.’”

Applications for the Concordia Christmas Charity Fund are available at Concordia Bank, Delta Bank and Tensas Banks in Vidalia and Ferriday. The applications need to be turned in by Monday at any of the banks.

The fund is sponsored by the Ferriday Rotary Club, which started the charity in 1982.

Pitts said the program operates off monetary donations, as volunteers use the money to buy the toys and food, though the Natchez Radio Group will host a toy drive for the charity.

The toys range for children ages 2 to 12. Pitts said Walmart employees donate their time late at night to select age appropriate toys for the children.

The staples for the grocery list include canned vegetables, rice, cake mix, a small ham, flour and sugar.

Pitts said all the toys and groceries are purchased locally.

Donation slips are available at the same banks where the applications can be picked up. The donations can be made in memory or in honor of someone, Pitts said.

Pitts said donors are listed in The Concordia Sentinel newspaper each week.

Pitts said the charity could also use volunteers for bagging the items on Dec. 15. The group will meet at 3:30 p.m. at the Ferriday High School cafeteria and Pitts welcomed anyone who could help.

Pitts said River Correctional Center trusties would be present to unload the toys and food from trucks and help with the bagging.

The bags of toys and groceries will be distributed to the families beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 16 at the Ferriday High School cafeteria.