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CTO filling need within community

The Coming Together Organization (CTO) is comprised of six men who, with the help of the community, will be serving 3,000 people a home-cooked Christmas meal on Dec. 25 from 5 a.m. to noon at their annual Christmas Feeding.

President Willard Williams describes CTO as a “group of men that saw a need in the community and got together to try to fill it.” And fill it they have. They welcome everyone in need at their annual Christmas feeding.

Williams said the Christmas Feeding is open to Marengo, Sumter, Greene and Hale counties and churches are welcome to pick up plates to feed their congregation or community.

Since CTO’s inception nearly 30 years ago, the organization has focused on “Getting everyone involved and talking to each other; trying to do something to improve the community.”

In addition to the Christmas Feeding, CTO is also behind the Give a Child a Wish Project, which this year gave gifts to 300 children, and the Back to School Fun Day, which gives lunch and backpacks filled with school supplies to 150-200 children.

Williams used to mentor children after school as part of a program with CTO and hopes to reinstate it “if funding can be gained.”

“Kids are crying for attention and once you get them in this program and show them some love and give them some one-on-one time, they become better students,” he said.

Williams and the rest of CTO love serving the community, but are in need financial support.

“We’re always in need of funding. There’s never enough money. The need is always greater than the cost,” he said.

Despite their needs, CTO has received enormous support from the community, especially during their Christmas events.

“The Christmas program has been great for getting volunteers,” Williams said.

Williams invites anyone interested in joining CTO to “Come inside. Get your feet wet. See how the organization is structured. Make sure it’s what you want to do because it takes dedication to do this.”

Anyone interested may contact any CTO member to apply and enter a trial period of 6 months to a year. After the first year, there is a $5 monthly due.

Williams also welcomes volunteers for the upcoming Christmas Feeding on Dec. 25, from 5 a.m. noon at Kora’s Place.

Donations can be made to any CTO member or mailed to P.O. Box 1084, Demopolis, AL 36732. For more information, contact Williams at 334-289-0142 or 334-216-3310.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, December 20 issue of the Demopolis Times.)