When it comes to Christmas, there is a little bit of child in all of us, which is perhaps why it is so satisfying to know that ours is a community that makes a special effort each year to make sure every child is able to enjoy something about the season.
It has been almost impossible to flip through the pages of the Forsyth County News this month and not see some story or photo about individuals and groups doing what they can to make Christmas something special for children who, for whatever reason, might not otherwise enjoy the holidays.
The local effort of the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program celebrated its 10th anniversary last week with a toy collection effort at Rooster’s Café. Cory Coulter, organizer of the local effort, estimated the event garnered more than 1,000 toys for needy youngsters.
What’s truly sad is that in today’s economic climate, 1,000 toys may not nearly be enough to make sure every child has something special to look forward to on Christmas morning.
The Fraternal Order of Police is another annual donor to the community’s underprivileged youngsters through its “Cops and Kids” program. This year, 62 children were allowed to spend up to $125 each during a special shopping event with local law enforcement officers whose fundraiser efforts were boosted by donations and discounts from Walmart.
Thankfully the Christmas season isn’t the only time local residents show their support for children. Earlier this month Sheriff Ted Paxton was on hand to present a special acknowledgement to the Windermere neighborhood for its yearlong support of the Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Homes, which provide shelter and services to children who have been abandoned or abused.
Windermere, which held fundraising events throughout the year to benefit the Youth Home program, was the only subdivision in the state to earn the award of recognition from the organization.
Whether it is a yearlong effort or a special Christmas time event, local residents consistently show their generosity when it comes to the area’s youth.
From motorcycle riders on toy runs to church groups with secret Santa programs, the blessings of charity are always obvious in Forsyth, but never moreso than during the Christmas season.
Not every child will have a happy Christmas this year, but many will who might not have otherwise thanks to the kindness and generosity of local residents.
Forsyth County has become accustomed to having schools that are among the state’s best, but it’s still nice when others acknowledge excellence in local education.
That was exactly the case last week when three Forsyth elementary schools were named Georgia Schools of Excellence.
Kudos to the administrators, teachers, staffs, parents and students at Settles Bridge, Shiloh Point and Vickery Creek schools for earning top recognition from the state.
In the past five years, the county school system has had 11 schools earn the School of Excellence designation. The news is the sort we never tire of hearing.
Earning such recognition is truly a group effort that requires commitment from all of those associated with each school.