A community Christmas program that last year provided toys and clothing for more than 500 children in Highland County needs some help.
So far this year the Highland County Community Action Community Christmas has received requests for help for 355 children. But while the requests are down, the program only has enough toys, clothes and money to help with about 255 of the requests,” Angie Mustard, one of the program organizers, said Tuesday.
“We keep getting calls every day, so every little bit of help we can get makes a difference,” Mustard said.
She said the Community Christmas program works with the Greenfield Exempted Village Schools, Toys for Tots, Hope Emergency, a group from Leesburg, and area churches to make sure those asking for help are not receiving it from more than one group.
Anyone wanting to help can call Community Action. The caller can be provided with the first name and age of a child that they can go and buy Christmas gifts for. Or, donations of clothes, toys or money can also be dropped off at Community Action.
“We’re not picky. We’ll do it anyway they want to do it,” Mustard said of those who would like to help. “Whatever they want to do, we try to work it out with them.”
All those receiving assistance are residents of Highland County, usually 15 years old or younger. They receive toys and clothes through the Community Christmas program.
“The application says that we’ll help up to 15-year-olds, but if a family has some younger children who have older siblings, we’ll sometimes help those older kids because we don’t want the younger kids to see that the older ones are not getting anything,” said Mustard, a transportation and outreach coordinator for Highland County Community Action.
She said the absolute cutoff point is 18 years old.
To donate or adopt a child for the program, call the Community Action office at 937-393-3458 and asked for Mustard. Items can also be doped off at or monetary donations can be mailed to Highland County Community Action, 1487 N. High St., Suite 500, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133.
Mustard said the last day items can be dropped off is Thursday, Dec. 17.
“Once we get everything in we’ll organize it all and then call the families to come and pick the gifts up,” Mustard said. “But there are some groups we work with like Highland County Prosecutor Anneka Collins’ office and one church, too, who usually deliver them. And that’s fine, too.”
“I’ve been here about 11 years and this is something I’m very passionate about,” Morgan added. “It’s a neat thing that we do so children can have something under the tree to open on Christmas.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.