Judy Cen­ter raises 200 presents for fam­i­lies in need

Com­mu­nity groups, busi­nesses and in­di­vid­u­als do­nate gifts

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU jan­fen­son-comeau@somd­news.com

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.

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