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YMCA Giving Tree benefits local children
GA Power Manager Randy Mayfield and YMCA Director Michael Whitten stand in front of the Giving Tree in the Liberty County Armed Services YMCA lobby. The tree’s angels are available and donations are accepted until Dec. 18. GA Power presented the YMCA with a check that will benefit all angels remaining on the tree. - photo by Lainey Standiford

Liberty County Armed Services YMCA Director Michael Whitten said this year, the YMCA Giving Tree holds 215 angel wishes of children in the community for this Christmas season, double the amount of last year.

According to Whitten, nearly 80 angels have been taken off the tree for Christmas. Each year, the YMCA works within the community to provide an “angel tree” or giving tree, which contains Christmas wishes from children ages 0-18, Whitten said.

“We pull from within Liberty County,” Whitten continued. “We work with the elementary school counselors to get the information for each wish on the tree.”

The deadline for the community to drop off all donations is Dec. 18. After that, the YMCA will partner with Toys for Tots to distribute the toys and donations from Dec. 18-21.

Georgia Power Company Local Manager Randy Mayfield presented a $500 check to Whitten this morning to help with the Giving Tree.

“What the $500 will go towards is any angels that are left on the tree,” Whitten said. “Sometimes on the wish list, on the back, they have their clothing sizes listed as well. So we try to give them something they want to receive, but as well as something they do need. That $500 will help any angels still on the tree. We’ll go on a shopping spree to get whatever remains. Even though they’re still on the tree, they’ll still be served by us.”

Every branch of the YMCA has a Giving Tree as an annual tradition, Whitten added.

“This is the tradition that we have,” Whitten said. “I’ve been with the YMCA for five years and it’s definitely an annual thing.”

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