White Christmas effort starts early for Ellijay Lions

  • Ellijay Lion Ralph Cox and his granddaughter, Leila Farist, collect donations for the local Lions Club’s Bucket Brigade fundraiser. (Contributed photo)
by Michael Andrews

For members of the Ellijay Lions Club, the road to providing White Christmas gifts for local families in need starts well before Thanksgiving.

Since the early 1990s, the local philanthropic organization has provided clothing, toys and gifts to families who qualify for the Christmastime assistance program.

“Last year we had 98 families and 296 children. We purchased for 168 of our kids last Saturday and we have 70 more we’re going to have to buy for this year,” said program chairperson Ruthann Harding, who with her husband, Jim, has participated in the local White Christmas effort since its inception.

Donations netted from the club’s Bucket Brigade collection drive are used to buy the presents.

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