Providing Christmas to needy children

While many people are deciding what to buy on Black Friday, hundreds of Washington Countychildren are relying on donations to get any presents for Christmas.

To help these children in low-income families have a better Christmas day, KONY Coins for Kids will once again be buying, wrapping and handing out presents to the children.

The nonprofit organization is in its 26th year of giving families with at-risk children between 1 and 17 years old presents for Christmas.

KONY Coins for Kids began in 1990 with volunteers raising about $2,500, which went to help provide toys for approximately 10 families.

Since then, the charity has grown not only in donations but in the amount of families helped. In 2009 the organization was able to bring presents to more than 2,000 children in 765 families.

“Since then, it’s just been growing and growing to where we literally have thousands of volunteers that participate each year,” said Kony Coins for Kids President Carl Lamar. “From the 500 shoppers to the 500 to 600 wrappers to the 75 or more Santas that get involved plus all those that donate, you’re literally getting an entire community involved in this process.”

Applications for children to receive donations are taken Nov. 16-20 and donations are received through several different means.

Coins boxes set up around the county allow people to drop off money at any time while direct donations to the organization’s website are also accepted.

Additionally, the organization has also set up several fundraisers throughout the year and also accepts new, unwrapped toys if people would like to help this way.