CONYERS -- Residents still have time to help needy families in Rockdale County before the holidays.
Until Thursday, you can donate new, unwrapped toys and new or gently used winter coats to the Rockdale Coalition for Children & Families for its annual Christmas Hope for the Holidays project.
"This is an opportunity to say to families in need that there are caring individuals in this community who care about them," said Michael Hutcheson, executive director of the coalition. "We can't solve every problem, but we can offer some assistance during Christmas time."
He said about 1,500 children are signed up to receive donations this year.
"I think it's still tough," he said about the economy. "It's up a little bit. There is a lot of demand."
So far, the coalition has collected an unknown amount of toys from Toys for Tots, the Empty Stocking Fund, Rockdale County Public Schools, area churches and other groups that have collected items through toy drives. It also has collected some winter coats.
Hutcheson said they need more items for the families.
"We always give it all away, so as much support as we can get will help," he said. "Whatever people can give will be appreciated."
The coalition is seeking items for children from infants up to age 17. Until Thursday, you can drop off items at Nancy Guinn Memorial Library at 864 Green St. in Conyers during normal business hours. Officials also will collect items at the government annex at 1400 Parker Road in Conyers from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday. Pick up can be arranged for large donation amounts.
From Dec. 17 through 19, the group will be giving out the items at the Parker Road facility to families who already have registered and received a phone call for an appointment. Registration is closed.
Monetary donations may be made payable to Rockdale Coalition. More collaborative partners and volunteers also are needed.
More information is available at www.rockdalecoalition.org or by calling 770-761-9244.