Judy Center raises 200 presents for families in need
Community groups, businesses and individuals donate gifts
Generous donations from the community are helping to make the holidays a little brighter for 13 local families.
The Charles County Judy Cen- ter held its annual Christmas An- gels drive this year, said Margo Alam, instructional specialist for Charles County Public Schools’ Judy Center.
“Typically there are different organizations that have been able to, in the past, take on a whole family, and this year we didn’t have quite as many who were able to support the needs of all families,” Alam said.
The Charles County Judy Cen- ter provides services to students and families in the C. Paul Barn- hart, Dr. Samuel Mudd, J.P. Ryon and Eva Turner schools atten- dance zones.
Judy Centers exist in 23 school districts in Maryland to provide comprehensive services for atrisk children ages birth through five years and their families, according to a Judy Center website. Judy Centers provide services to foster at-risk children’s readiness for school.
Alam said the center’s steering committee, made up of different organizations throughout Charles County, met and agreed to reach out to communities and members to provide presents for the Judy Center families in need.
In addition, EXIT Realty and Aguto Partners dental office were each able to adopt an entire family, Alam said.
Alam said they provided a wish list of things families needed and received more than 200 items in return.
“Some of them are ‘need’ items, like food and clothing, but they also took the extra step of providing bi- cycles and games and toys,” Alam said.
On Friday, the gifts were received by Judy Center staff at the Waldorf West Library — wrapped and sorted by school volunteers.
Alam said family service coordinators with the Judy Center would reach out to each family to arrange delivery or pick-up of the items before the school system’s winter break.
“I am speechless at the kindness that different organizations have always embraced us with, but typically in a normal year, we get 30 gifts, so for us to get 200 gifts, I don’t even know how to thank the partners and speak to the kindness that I’ve found here in Charles County,” Alam said.