• Anyone wishing to sponsor a child through the Forsyth County Family YMCA Holiday Giving Tree for Kids program should e-mail Jerry Dupree at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by the YMCA, 6050 Y Street.
• Families in need should apply for the program in person at the YMCA by Wednesday.
Santa is looking for helpers to support local children in need this holiday season with the Forsyth County Family YMCA.
Through the annual Holiday Giving Tree for Kids program, volunteers sign up to sponsor a child whose name is located on the large Christmas tree at the Y.
They are given a wish list and shop for the child, spending $50 to $75.
Families participating in the program are screened for financial need and enrolled if found to be living at or below the national poverty level.
Organizer Jerry Dupree said the annual effort continues to see more need.
“We’ve broken the record every year we do it and I’m thinking we’ll do that again this year,” he said, noting some 2,500 children received gifts through the program in 2011.
“It continues to grow with the population of the schools. As we get more kids here … there’s always a percentage that need assistance like this and other programs.”
Those wishing to sponsor children should sign up as soon as possible, Dupree said, but noted they have until Dec. 8.
“If people don’t feel like they can actually go shop, we will always accept financial donations,” he said. “Those funds are used to help buy toys for unsponsored children, which we have about half and half each year.”
Checks should be made out to the Forsyth County Family YMCA with “HGTFK” in the memo line.
“That way we know which program they’re supporting,” Dupree said.
Toy donations will also be accepted for the program. Those items can be dropped off at any Forsyth County fire station.
Dupree said the program can always use any support.
“We’re going to need all the help we can get because it’s just a tremendous number of children we’re trying to support,” he said.
“We’ve been thankful that the last few years we’ve been able to [meet all the need], but our fear is that one of these days we’re going to have kids who have to go without.”