ATHENS-During the holiday season, Santa’s elves are often those from offices in Athens or those in Athens firefighter and police uniforms.
The City of Athens is blessed with employees who strive to give back to the community throughout the year, including at Christmas.
“We have a caring workforce filled with employees who take time to volunteer and make a difference,” Mayor Ronnie Marks said.
Here are some of the programs underway:
- Shop with a Firefighter
Athens Fire and Rescue Auxiliary receives the names of 50 to 60 children from school counselors from Athens and Limestone schools. These are children whose families need help from Santa at Christmas. Each child receives $200 and shops with a firefighter or other supporter at Walmart for toys, clothes, etc. To donate, you can send a check made out to Athens Fire and Rescue Auxiliary at P.O. Box 1089, Athens, AL 35612. This event is scheduled for Dec. 12.
- Lincoln-Bridgeforth Park Committee Bike/Toy Giveaway
This is a City of Athens appointed committee that hosts a holiday party for children in the community and from the Boys and Girls Club. It includes a drawing for several bicycles, and each child receives an age-appropriate toy. Santa visits, and City of Athens elves help with the festivities. Donations of new bicycles and new toys can be dropped off at any Athens Fire and Rescue station, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This event is scheduled for Dec. 12.
- Gifts for the Elderly
Athens Police Lt. Katrina Flanagan started this program a few years ago to ensure residents in the local nursing homes are remembered during the holidays. Each resident gets a gift bag of items such as blankets, lotion, etc. Officers and other employees help put the gifts bag together and deliver them to the nursing homes. Donations are accepted by Venmo @GiftsforElderly or by Cash App at $GiftsforElderly. \
- Athens Elves in Blue
The Athens Police Department’s elves in blue are busy on Christmas Day, randomly distributing toys to children they encounter while making their rounds. The officer elves talk to and take time to play with the children. A few children have expressed joy upon seeing Santa’s blue elves because they thought Santa had forgotten them on Christmas morning. To donate, you can send a check made out to Behind the Badge-APD at P.O. Box 1089, Athens, AL 35612.