LAMAR, MO.--- The nonprofit organization "The Good Samaritan" is giving gifts for its annual "Barton County Salvation Army Christmas" project. Various organizations donated items for families who can't afford Christmas gifts this year. More than 500 Barton County families have signed up to pick out gifts for their kids or parents for Christmas day.
"It's getting to the point where these families are just barely getting their food," said Pat Neely, Good Samaritan Manager.
The Good Samaritan's Manager Pat Neely tells us with cut backs on food stamps, families are having to use the money they would've spent on Christmas gifts to stock their pantries.
"We're hoping we can feel that need here in the county. This morning the line was pretty long," said Neely.
In a joint effort with the Salvation Army, the items were collected during the month of November and donated by various organizations and individuals.
"670 families signed up to get food and gifts. We give a $10 gift to children up to 17 who are still living at home," said Neely.
518 senior citizens or people with disabilities also signed up to receive a $5 gift.
"We chose to buy things they can't buy with food stamps, like laundry soap, toilet paper, and paper towels and shampoo," said Neely.
Neely says the number of families in need is rising every year.
"You know the families are getting larger and larger. We have several that are 12 in a household, the breakdown is really unreal," said Neely.
In order to provide some of the families with a Christmas dinner, the organization bought more than 800 chickens plus the side items.
"The dressing, the gravy, the vegetables, the fruit, cocktail in order to have a well rounded meal," said Neely.
Organization leaders added more than 200 families to get commodities and those individuals also signed up for the present campaign.
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