Needy children in Barrow County need a Christmas miracle.
Just four days before the opening of the Holiday Connection Toy Shop for needy local children, donations are a third less than they were last year but the need has grown to 2,008 kids.
That is 25 percent more kids than the toy drive served last year.
“They’re still coming,” said Michelle Walker, coordinator of the Holiday Connection, an annual project of the Barrow County Family Connection/Communities and Schools.
“We have about $5,000 less in cash than we did last year, and we are serving more children this year,” Walker said in an interview Friday evening.
The greatest needs are for two age groups: little ones ages birth to four and teens ages 15 to 18. The only toys not needed are Barbies and stuffed animals, Walker said.
Generous hearts are asked to bring unwrapped toys, gift cards or checks to the bottom level of the Winder Cultural Arts Center, 105 E. Athens St., as soon as possible next week.
Moms and dads who have applied for assistance will shop at designated appointment times Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
“They’re coming based on need. The people who come that first day have the greatest need,” Walker said.
Donations will be accepted all week so that volunteers can continue shopping to make sure every child is served. Holiday Connection volunteers will be onsite Monday through Friday.