Community organizations are making sure youth at an Albany shelter have a Merry Christmas.
There were lots of hugs at Open Arms today because Christmas came early. Today the youth shelter for runaway, homeless and abused youth first received a $2500 check from the "Citizens of Georgia Power."
"We felt like the charity is making an impact on the community," said Lisa Battle-Jackson, President of "Citizens of Georgia Power." "It's built upon helping people and that's what we want to do."
An hour later students from Albany State University brought in boxes with dozens of toys from their toy drive held in their residence halls.
"It's just a way for us to give back during the season of giving," said Ansley Williams, ASU Graduate Assistant Resident Director. "As well as encourage the residents within our building to not just be selfish, but be selfless."
The Executive Director says clothing and monetary donations have been steady this year.
"We have received so many phone calls from just people within the community, other agencies within the community have just totally been a blessing to us for our children for Christmas this year," said Dr. Fonda Thompson, Open Arms Executive Director.
The shelter serves about 5,000 youth a year in South Georgia and that those numbers are increasing.
"We've seen an increase and I think part of it has been due to the economy," said Thompson. "There are so many homeless people, families, and children within our communities."
They're also hoping that more people will donate their time to help children in need.
"We love our volunteers," said Thompson. "There are so many kids who need that one on one mentoring. There are some kids who need positive role models."
Role models like the ones who opened their arms and wallets to help these children.
You can volunteer or donate to Open Arms by visiting their facility at 420 Pine Avenue.