Project Santa solicits help for holidays

Published 1:22 pm Monday, December 10, 2018

By Michael Brooks / Special to the Reporter

The National Alliance on Mental Illness chapter in Shelby County will once again sponsor its annual Project Santa and Christmas party for clients and family in December.

Acting President Laurie Griffen explained that Project Santa helps people who often have very limited or no family support.

“We have clients in the area who have in-home care, but others who live in supportive housing or group homes,” Griffen explained. “Some have case managers who check on them, and this is a wonderful service, but many have no family whatsoever to care about them.”

Project Santa is designed to provide gifts for clients who might be overlooked at Christmas, Griffen said.

Items needed include small shower caddies, non-slip slippers, small overnight bags, gloves and hats, art supplies, canvases for drawing, belts, sweat shirts and pants, small throws, adult coloring books, crayons and crossword and word search books.

The three local Chilton Shelby Mental Health Centers have agreed to be drop-off locations for Project Santa. The Pelham office is at 2100 County Services Drive. The Calera office is at 151 Hamilton Lane and the Clanton office is at 110 Medical Center Drive. Griffen said items should be clearly marked “Project Santa.” The deadline for donations of items or money is Dec. 20.

The Christmas party will be at 6 p.m. on Dec. 18 at the Hamilton Center in Calera.

“We’ll have dinner, games and prizes,” Griffen said. “It promises to be a great evening.”

Griffen said NAMI has an Alabama office with paid staffers, but the local chapter is staffed solely by  volunteers.

“We can always use more help,” she said. “Our Christmas party is a good case-in-point. We can use manual labor to help us set up and clean up!”

More information can be found at the local NAMI website, Griffen can be reached at 381-7296.