Almost 20 members of the group spent several hours last week purchasing toys, clothes and other items on the wish lists of 100 area foster children.
“This is the one project that we look forward to more than any other,” said Beth Shumate, a senior buyer with Alabama Power. “Going through the store, reading their lists and picking out the items gives me chills. I know how much these things mean to the children we are helping.”
Shumate even brought her 10-year-old son, Sam, to the Jasper Walmart Thursday to help with the project.
“I like helping out,” said Sam, a student at Sumiton Christian School. “I’ve helped for several years and enjoy it a lot.”
The children being helped by the project are determined by the Walker County Department of Human Resources. A wish list with the child’s first name and age are supplied to APSO by DHR. The APSO volunteers then use the lists to pick out $150 worth of items for each child.
“We are always excited to do this. It is a huge blessing,” said Pat Maddox, an administrative specialist with Alabama Power. “We hold fundraisers all year to get up the money to buy for the children. We have a gold tournament, a bass tournament, and we are currently selling pecans. Anything we can do to raise money, we do it so we can provide these children with a good Christmas.”
Once the items are purchased, Maddox said they are bagged and given to Walker County DHR who then delivers them to foster families so they can give out the items on Christmas morning.
“We’re just so happy to be able to help,” Maddox said.