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County agencies aid families in need

December 20, 2009

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Holidays engender fundraising drives on the part of business and agency employees to assist local families in need.

The latest "Come as You Are Day" held by employees of Washington County government raised $436.25 in cash and 70 gently used coats for North Hagerstown Lions Club's Coats for Kids Campaign, and was one of 15 such events held throughout the year, benefiting agencies and families.

A total of $7, 260 in cash was donated through the events, which helped 11 charitable agencies and four families. The highest cash total, $754.50, was donated to Holly Place, in January. A November effort to benefit Food Resources resulted in donations of 633 pounds of food from the Washington County Sheriff's Office and 600 pounds from other county departments, in addition to monetary donations.

Individual departments also participated in holiday-themed fundraisers this year, responding to a call from agencies inundated by unprecedented demand.

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"Never in recent memory has the social service system been so taxed and overwhelmed in trying to meet the needs of families," said Tom Kline, project manager for the Washington County Community Partnership for Children and Families (WCCP).

The leadership at Girls Inc. developed a list of families from their participants that needed assistance for the holidays, and reached out to the community for organizations and individuals to adopt nearly 50 families for the holidays. WCCP received a call inquiring whether there would be interest in adopting a family. The WCCP and the Office on Disability Issues (ODI) adopted a family of four children ranging in age from 1 to 11, fulfilling the Christmas wish list provided by the family.

Community partners assisted those departments, with Children in Need, whose mission it is to provide essential clothing, personal-care items and educational supplies to all Washington County children in need, donating socks, underwear, winter clothing and toiletries. Wal-Mart donated a $50 gift certificate.

County employees have a long history of committing to community causes through such fundraising efforts.

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