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Giving time of year
Children young, old donate to The Place
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Students from Legacy Academy donated food to The Place earlier this week. Allison Henry, right, carries a can of food while Olivia Brenner, far left, and Jada Turner come back for more. - photo by Julie Arrington
To volunteer time, money or goods at The Place, contact: (770) 887-1098; thrift store, (678) 947-8825; or

Forsyth County children young and old are getting into the giving spirit as Thanksgiving nears.

The Place, a local nonprofit social service organization in north Forsyth, received donations Tuesday collected by a West Forsyth High School senior and 4- and 5-year-olds from Legacy Academy.

Sandy Beaver, director of The Place, was impressed with their generosity.

"It tells me that young people are aware of what's going on in the community and economy," she said. "They're understanding and those who have are giving to those who don't."

The donations are especially welcome this year as The Place and other local nonprofits strain to keep up with increased demand during the economic downturn.

Kevin MacDonald, 17, and his mother, Frankie, stopped by The Place with about $1,800 worth of food.

MacDonald collected the donations with help from his girlfriend and neighbors in the Hampton Forest subdivision.

"People not being able to support themselves with food, that issue is big to me," MacDonald said. "Anything to help is always good."

He also collected donations from Gold's Gym, Dobb's Creek Hapkido Class, Hobby Lobby and the Forsyth County Ice Hockey Team.

He said he hadn't previously taken on a community service project such as this, though he did participate in Boy Scouts for seven or eight years.

"I guess it kind of rubbed off on me," he said.

After reading an article about The Place's growing need for donations, MacDonald put flyers on his neighbors' mailboxes letting them know he was holding a food drive.

The flyers included a list of foods that would be accepted. A large number of those who contributed simply filled out the list.

A bus from Legacy Academy arrived Tuesday morning to drop off its collections.

Jan Ritchie, academy director, said the little children are learning this month about giving.

"We're trying to get them community-minded," she said.

They brought several boxes heavy with canned and boxed items collected at the school. Ritchie said the giving was contagious.

"They started bringing things from home and other parents got involved," she said. "Some of the parents' co-workers got involved, so we had people outside of our school participating. It's wonderful."

Next month the kids will learn about sharing.