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Rodney Ho covers TV and radio, from Atlanta’s stations to the hottest “American Idol" news.
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Clark Howard, in 28th year, needs gifts for 10,000-plus Georgia foster children

Originally posted Friday, November 30, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Clark Howard is known as Atlanta’s lovable cheapskate but he’s not cheap about charity. For the 28th year, he is seeking gifts for 10,000-plus foster children in the state of Georgia for Christmas.

He began this year’s journey at a Wal-Mart in Dunwoody Thursday, with a major assist for the fourth year running from The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, which handles logistics.

This is a huge undertaking. Wal-Mart is the spot where people can find the foster kids they can buy gifts for. They are not identified by name but simply by age and gender, with a list of three items they’d like to have. You aren’t obligated to buy all three gifts. You can mix and match or buy gifts for multiple kids. Or you can just donate money online here. 

The number of children who need gifts has doubled in four years, Howard said. He blames this in part on the opioid crisis, which has roiled the country and broken up families. He did say as authorities try to address the problem, the increases are not as sharp as they used to be. But it still means a lot of pain and heartache for these poor kids. 

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Yani Baranan, 13, has been donating to Clark's Kids since he was three. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Here are the upcoming Wal-Marts where you’ll be able to find foster kids to buy gifts for. Howard isn’t at every location (he can’t be at two places at once!) but he shows up for several of them. Usually, other Cox Radio  and Channel 2 personalities join him. On Thursday, B98.5 morning host Tad Lemire and WSB radio host and traffic reporter Mark Arum made appearances at the Dunwoody Wal-Mart. Even Erick Erickson drove up from Macon to make a cameo. 

Friday, Nov. 30:
Roswell | 970 Mansell Road, Roswell 30076 | 2 p.m. - 7 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 1: 
Woodstock | 12182 GA-92, Woodstock 30188 | 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Peachtree City | 2717 GA-54, Peachtree City 30269 | | 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 7: 
Alpharetta | 5200 Windward Pkwy, Alpharetta 30004 | 2 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Buford | 3250 Sardis Church Rd, Buford 30519 | 2 p.m. - 7 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 8: 
Duluth | 2635 Pleasant Hill Rd, Duluth 30096 | 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Cumming | 1500 Market Place Blvd, Cumming 30041 | 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 9: 
Marietta | 210 Cobb Pkwy S, Marietta 30060 | 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Lilburn | 4004 Lawrenceville Hwy Nw, Lilburn 30047 | 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Stacey Felzer, center, is volunteering for the first time for Clark's Kids, guiding shoppers on how the system works. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com
Clark's Kids volunteer Danielle Lambert was assigned to guide Wal-Mart shoppers at Dunwoody to the tables to pick the foster kids they wanted to sponsor. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com
Clark Howard talks with fans Myram Duran of Brookhaven. She's been a fan of his for years. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com
Clark Howard brought his daughter Rebecca (who recently joined his company) to the mic to talk about how she grew up thinking the Dollar Store was the toy store. She recently paid off her car and is debt free, a lesson she learned from her dad. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com.
Clark Howard and his COO Christa DiBiase, who has worked with him for 20 years. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com
Chrys Bruno hoists a gift she purchased or a Clark's Kids foster child. She has been donating for five years and this year, she provided gifts for five different kids. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com
Volunteers Josh Hobbs and Tina Marshall help out with Clark's Kids on Thursday, November 29, 2018 at the Dunwoody Wal-Mart. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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