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FOP shares gifts, grub at Abba House
Mikayla Croft can’t contain her joy during an Abba House Christmas Party on Saturday. The local Fraternal Order of Police lodge brought gifts for children of women staying at the long-term residential ministry. - photo by Autumn McBride

The local Fraternal Order of Police lodge brought Christmas cheer Saturday night to children from Abba House.

Complete with a guest appearance from Santa Claus, the kids received gifts collected by the organization.

“It went fabulous,” said Tuck Nicholls, lodge secretary and an investigator with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.

“There were a lot of tears all around, mothers and children. We had an excellent turnout.”

The nonprofit Abba House is a long-term residential ministry in north Forsyth that helps women, some with children, overcome addiction and abuse problems.

The program provides women with counseling, education and job training to help them get their lives back on track.

“It makes our hearts feel good doing something for the kids who are there,” Nicholls said. “We just wanted to make sure they had a great Christmas and I think they did.”

Nicholls said the lodge collected presents for about 17 children. In addition, the lodge gave $100 gift cards to all of the women staying at Abba House for Christmas shopping for their families.

Food for Saturday night’s event was provided by Hal’s Drive Thru. The nonprofit, run by Hal and Nancy Vernier of Alpharetta, feeds those in need.

“The women said we won’t use him again unless he gives us his banana pudding recipe and the one for his green beans,” Nicholls said. “It was great.”

Nicholls said the lodge holds fundraisers for the Christmas event. Members also accept referrals to help other families in need.

The Abba House has plans to expand, ultimately to accommodate about 65 women and children.

Nicholls said the lodge will be ready to help out again next year.