DHS Christmas Project a Big Success

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Clay County DHS Administrator Annette Dutka reports this year's local Christmas Project was a big success, thanks to the efforts of a number of individuals, businesses and organizations.

"Due to the generosity of many, every child whose name was submitted to the DHS here in Clay County was adopted for Christmas." Dutka noted. "This year we had a total of 195 children who had a better Christmas thanks to your help."

As they have for the past 29 Christmas seasons, the local DHS office gathered names of families needing assistance in early December. The names, and the wish lists for the kids involved, were then provided to volunteers who chose to adopt them for the holidays. But, unlike the previous year no one was left out this Christmas.

"When we started getting close to Christmas we were contacted by Paula Blackwell, with Piggott State Bank, and she let us know they would make sure there were funds available to finish out all our lists," Dutka explained.

Dutka noted the list of donors is large, and added many of those involved chose to remain anonymous. But, she did offer special thanks to a few groups and individuals for their efforts.

"In addition to Piggott State Bank, we also received help from the Rector 4-H Club, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, VFW Post #4517, Emmanuel Baptist Church and Harmony Baptist Church," she added. "The Fifth and Pine Church of Christ stepped-up and adopted all the kids in the Rector area and Carla Price was instrumental in spearheading the effort in the western half of the county."

Dutka also noted a word of thanks to River Bank for allowing Price the time to take on the effort in the western district.

"We have also had a few individuals and groups contact us after everyone was adopted for the year," she noted. "So, we'd like to encourage everyone to remember us next year, and contact us earlier in December."

First started in the early 1980s, the program has provided gifts, food baskets and other help to thousands of Clay County families during the Christmas season. The effort involves no public monies, or tax dollars, and is fully funded through donations of both gift and food items and cash.

"Again, thank you to all Clay County residents for your continued support," Dutka surmised.

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