It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas will go on for families depending on a College Park charity that recently had $10,000 worth of toys and gifts stolen from a storage unit.
As of Tuesday, the LIFT Community Development Corp. had received close to $4,000 from local businesses to replace the stolen items, according to founder Barbara McKee.
She said the agency plans to give out toys to all the needy families it has pledged to help.
“We might not be able to give three items like in the past, but each family will get their items,” McKee said at a luncheon Tuesday, at which time the Atlanta Air Cargo Association presented the agency with a check for $1,800.
That’s good news for Jacklyn Clanton who was depending on LIFT for gifts for some of her nine kids.
“I don’t have a way to get anything for my kids. After I pay all my bills, there’s nothing left,” said the disabled mother, who said she receives about $700 a month in disability.
This was the second year that Clanton had turned to LIFT, which collects toys and gifts throughout the year for hundreds of needy families at Christmas.
Last Friday, when LIFT organizers checked their South Fulton storage unit, the toys and gifts they’d collected were gone, McKee told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“We are just devastated. We work the entire year collecting for Christmas. It’s our biggest event,” she said.
Organizers said the families have been chosen and the first giveaway of the holiday had been set for Dec. 20 at the Godby Recreation Center in College Park.
McKee began the charity in 2004 to honor her mother, Violet Davis, whose birthday fell on Dec. 25.
“She used to feed everyone in the neighborhood and give toys to kids to celebrate her birthday,” McKee said. “I wanted to continue her good work.”
LIFT also offers a food pantry, free GED program, and job assistance programs at its office at 5134 Old National Highway, College Park.
It’s a worthy program, said Clanton, who has turned to LIFT for everything from counseling when she became disabled to getting fresh vegetables and fruits from the food pantry.
Monetary donations can be at any Bank of America branch.
Donations also can be mailed to LIFT Community Development Corp., 5134 Old National Hwy Suite C, College Park, Ga. 30349. You can call LIFT at 404-762-5600 or email the charity at firstname.lastname@example.org.