The local Christmas for Kids program already is encountering high demand, with nearly twice as many requests for assistance than the program usually receives by this time.
Program founder Debbie Dixon said they have more requests than they received all of last Christmas season.
“So far we’ve got about 430 kids, and usually right about now is the time of year when they start really pouring in,” Dixon said today. “There’s going to be a major, major, major demand.
“It’s almost double from what it usually is this time locally. Every morning I get more calls. I’ve already gotten 14 this morning.”
The program provides gifts to children of incarcerated parents. Dixon founded it 22 years ago after she had to spend the holiday without her three daughters because she was incarcerated for six months at Alabama’s Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women for writing bad checks.
Since then, it has spread into other states, where more than 4,000 children are clients this year, she said. Volunteers in those states operate those programs, while Dixon and local volunteers handle northwest Alabama.
Anyone interested in buying gifts for the children, or contributing monetarily, can contact Dixon at 256-443-1297. If you simply want to provide money, an account is set up at all First Metro Bank branches.