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2003 News from Mecklenburg County
October 1, 2003
Charlotte, NC - The Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services' (DSS) holiday sponsorship program provides opportunities to help local families in need of meals and gifts, and to provide presents to a child in foster care or an elderly or disabled adult.
The DSS Community Resources Office (CRO) today, Oct. 1, will begin matching individual and group donors with families. Also, the DSS Youth and Family Services Division will work with CRO on donations for children in County custody.
Loss of jobs in the region means more families are struggling to provide for the necessities, and the numbers of those whose incomes are low or at poverty is increasing, DSS organizers said. Here's how DSS is asking for the community's help:
· Thanksgiving and Christmas Sponsorships: Individual and group donors provide groceries at Thanksgiving. Christmas sponsors provide groceries and gifts for families who are in need. The sponsor(s) deliver the items to the family's home the week before the holiday. Call 704-336-4809 in October to be matched with a family for either or both holidays.
· Giving Trees: Provide Christmas gifts for foster children or elderly and disabled adults who are in DSS custody. Call Cindy Byrd at 704-336-7348 or Shay Classens at 704-432-1017 for information about gifts for children and youth in foster care. Call Beverly Hinson at 704-336-7969 for more information about gifts for adults.
Monetary contributions are welcomed. Make checks payable to Mecklenburg County, Attn: Polly Needham, Community Resources Office, 301 Billingsley Road, Charlotte, NC 28211.
"In the past, Mecklenburg County residents have responded at the holidays and provided meals and gifts that helped to make a difference for several families in difficulty," said Polly Needham, CRO administrator. "We are hopeful that this year, too, people will respond in such a warm and generous way."

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Media contact: Suzanne Jeffries at 704-353-0774 or

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