AMOUNT AIRY community has joined together to make this a joyful holiday for those less fortunate.
On Saturday, 15 children from toddlers to first-graders set out pulling wagons along the streets of the White Oak subdivision to collect food, presents and money for Mount Airy Net.
"We knew that by collecting for Mount Airy Net, our efforts would affect our entire community," said organizer Casey Coulehan. "I wanted the children to know that there are less fortunate people right here in our own community and that we can help them. That's just how I was raised."
The caravan of wagons collected seven large boxes full of food. The children also collected brightly wrapped Christmas presents for children, monetary donations and even a prepaid phone card. Coulehan said some families had shopped specifically for the drive and donated bags of groceries.
The neighbors in the subdivision of 45 homes off Sidney Road have decided to make this an annual event.
Jean Colburn, director of Mount Airy Net, said more than 70 area families have applied for assistance this holiday season, and she expects that number to rise.
Many groups have stepped forward to help.
Pupils and staff at Mount Airy Middle School are collecting clothing, toys and canned goods, incorporating the effort into the school's character education program. This month pupils are focusing on helpfulness and service to others.
Mount Airy Net offices will be open to accept applications from individuals who need Christmas food and gifts: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 15, which is the deadline to apply for assistance.
Information: Jean Colburn, 301-829-0472.
Toys for Tots
The Mount Airy Long & Foster real estate office is one of the official drop-off points for the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program.
This is the 12th year the real estate agency has taken toys for children in need. Last year, the Mount Airy office collected more than 500 toys.
Long & Foster offices throughout the mid-Atlantic region participate in the program, which was started by the Marine Corps in 1947.
New toys that are not gift-wrapped can be taken to the Long & Foster Mount Airy office, 1512 Ridgeside Drive, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Fuel, music for shopping
Shop to the music of strolling Christmas carolers while sampling complimentary wine and cheese at 14 Mount Airy shops tonight.
Merchants are offering a wine and cheese reception in each store from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The downtown open house continues through Sunday,
Lesa Jansen's Southwest neighborhood column appears each Friday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.