Friends help give single parents, others Christmas

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 6, 2004

Being a single parent can be a tremendous strain. Especially at Christmas time. In Hale County there are many single parents who need help to provide their children with a merry Christmas. This year, the Friends of Hale County plan to step in and make that a reality.

Currently, the group is rounding up names of single parents who need their assistance. While the list is long, the Friends plan to work tirelessly to see all the children get the Christmas they deserve.

Friends of Hale County Executive Director Pam Chism said the reaction to the program has been great. Chism said many have come to help and they greatly appreciate it.

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“We have several people working who are going to help us,” Chism said. “They hardly ever get recognized, but they have really done a lot to help. They have helped us round up names and things like that. It has really helped us along.”

When people think of single parents single moms usually come to mind. However, Chism said they have found many different types of single parents.

“We have had a couple of men too,” Chism said. “It has been a case where the wife has left and they are raising the children on their own.”

Chism and her group have also found several grandparents who are raising children. Chism said this is another tough situation, but the grandparents are happy to be able to help.

“We see that sometimes and you think it would be tough to have already raised your children and then have grandchildren to raise to,” Chism said. “But they don’t see it that way at all. They are mostly just happy to be able to give the child a home and help them.”

Chism said the parents have asked for very little. Just a gift here and there to make their children’s Christmas a little better.

“The adults really aren’t asking for much,” Chism said. “It hasn’t been a really long list. Just a doll here or a fire truck there. Things like that.”

Several groups have volunteered to help. Civic organizations as well as churches have all thrown in. Chism said there are several other things they hope to team up to get done.

We have had several groups volunteer to help and a lot of churches too,” Chism said. “One of the things we would like to do is get them Christmas trees and it would also be nice to be able to get them hot meals.”

At the same time, the Friends of Hale County also hope to give some local churches a much-needed gift. Chism said they are working toward providing local churches with signs.

“We are looking at getting a graphic designer and some other people to help us get some sings,” Chism said. “We are going to make them simple, but elegant. We just want the name of the church, the pastor and the times of services. The churches are a big part of the community and we want to help them out.”

For more information on how to make donations to the Friends or Hale County or help out in other ways please contact Chism at 205-243-5031.