Story & Photos By
LINDA ANN McDONALD
Wakulla Giving Hands partnered with the Less Fortunate Still Matters Foundation and Mack’s Country Meats to provide A Gift from The North Pole to families in Wakulla County on Saturday, Dec. 16, at the Wakulla Senior Citizens Center.
A Gift from The North Pole included toys and books for children, clothes and personal hygiene items as well as music, dancing, popcorn, and sno-cones were also included for approximately 300 people who did not let the weekend’s bad weather hinder their holiday fun.
The Less Fortunate Matters is an organization servicing Leon, Gadsden, and Taylor counties.
John L. Lewis, of Wakulla Giving Hands, said, “This is a great event to volunteer, it is the smiles and the joy of the people during the holidays that makes it so great; I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.”
Also visiting the event was Santa, the Grinch and Olaf from the movie “Frozen.” Wakulla’s DJ Butch provided music and created a dance off contest between Olaf and the Grinch for the enjoyment of the crowd. Popcorn was provided by All Fun and Games.
Quinton McQueen volunteered at the event with his son Jakoda McQueen and said, “I feel a sense of peace because of the joy in my heart to see all the children happy. It shows Wakulla has a lot of connections and the love that is being shown today is the love of giving back to the Community.”
Darren Wood said, “The turnout is good, we are trying our best to help everybody. We want the kids to have something they necessarily would not of received on Christmas, something to make them smile because that is what Christmas is all about. Showing the children how the County cares is also an example to them to give and help and volunteer to help those in need.”
Casey Kimbrell, Director of Wakulla Giving Hands said, “Thank you to all of Wakulla and the businesses of Wakulla and to all who volunteered their services and made this holiday extra bright and to make the smiles of children and adults possible.” She added: “Everyone is Wakulla is so generous, it feels very warm to help all the families that need help; you can’t do this event all by yourself. If it was not for the community coming together to donate their time and effort, it could never be possible. Clothes came from everywhere, it took hours to complete the task of clothes, we had 400-500 bags of clothes, and we were slammed with toys, Wakulla showed up and showed out for sure.”
The even was scheduled to be held at the Wakulla County Rec Park but due to inclement weather, it was moved to the Wakulla County Senior Citizens Center.
Lara Edwards, Director of the Center said, “We are glad to open our doors and help with the event indoors; it is great thing to help children and anyone in Wakulla County in need.”