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Caring for Others prepares for community holiday giving
by Nneka Okona
November 26, 2012 04:28 PM | 1661 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Katherine Frye <br>
Eslene Richmond-Shockley, executive director of Caring for Others, with some toys that have been collected for the holiday season.
Staff / Katherine Frye
Eslene Richmond-Shockley, executive director of Caring for Others, with some toys that have been collected for the holiday season.
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For the past 12 years, Eslene Richmond-Shockley, executive director of the nonprofit Caring for Others, has dedicated herself to ensuring everyone has a Merry Christmas.

Her way of giving back is through a program she created — the community holiday giving.

The program, which gives donations of toys, food, clothing and other items to residents for Thanksgiving and Christmas, has been a success since its beginning.

“It was my idea,” said Richmond-Shockley. “I created it because a lot of our seniors and the working poor are overlooked. For instance, there are mothers who are working and earn $2 above the poverty line but still can’t afford necessities for their families.”

Preparation for the program begins as early as the January following the conclusion of the holiday season.

Around that time, Richmond-Shockley begins either collecting donations or purchasing items to distribute.

Enrollment for the program begins months later, in August, and residents can apply to be recipients for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

To qualify for the program, Richmond-Shockley does a full case management work-up and evaluates each family on a need basis and income levels.

Since the program’s inception, the organization has serviced 20 zipcodes in the metro Atlanta area, including in the cities of East Point and College Park.

The reach, however, has sharply declined in the past few years, according to Richmond-Shockley.

In the past, as many as 500 total families benefited from community holiday giving, but Richmond-Shockley had to make the tough decision this year to lower the amount to 425.

“We had to allocate funding for the expansion of our home office and other administrative fees,” she said. “I had to look at my budget and make wise decisions.”

Despite the decrease in those helped, Richmond-Shockley is still upbeat about the upcoming distribution for Christmas.

Those families who received contributions for Thanksgiving received them on Nov. 17 between the hours of noon and 3 p.m.

Christmas holiday giving will be distributed on Dec. 5 between noon and 3 p.m.

Those who are interested in donating new, unworn clothing, non-perishable food items and new, packaged toys can visit Caring for Others website, www.caring4others.org at or drop off the donation at their office, 3537 Browns Mill Road, Suite 2, Atlanta.
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