How can you help?

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By Jamie Baker-Nantz

While many families are making holiday plans, others are wondering how they’ll make ends meet.
Several organizations and groups in Grant County are making plans to help families in need this holiday season.

Kim Haubner, of Dry Ridge, began a county Christmas party nine years ago.
This year’s County Christmas Party will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 7 at the Ridge Banquet Center at the I-75 Towne Center, formerly the Dry Ridge Outlet Mall.
Volunteers to help at the party, as well as donations of books, candy, toys, coats, Christmas trees or cookies can be dropped off at Realty Place, 90 S. Main in Dry Ridge or at H.O.P.E.’s new location on Main Street (in the former site of Papa’s Restaurant near Arbors Apartments) in Dry Ridge. Sponsors are also needed.
More than 600 children attended last year.
For more information call Kim Haubner at 859-814-6915 or Carol Jackson at 859-393-6282.

214 Barnes Road, Williamstown
Wil Jones, chair of Helping Hands
Helping Hands, a coalition of local churches, is another organization that assists families in need and not just during the holidays.
Although the holidays are a time when requests for help pour in, Helping Hands, located on Barnes Road in Williamstown, is open all year long.
A big boost to Helping Hands also comes from local schools that hold canned food drives, as well as the U.S. Postal Service, which conducts a spring and fall canned food drive. Several area churches also conducted a canned food drive last weekend and collected much needed items, said Jones.
In addition to canned goods, Helping Hands accepts monetary donations to help with utility bills, as well as clothing and furniture donations. Beds and couches are the most requested items.

134 N. Main, Williamstown
Alison Rhoton Williams, county manager
The Grant County CAC will be assisting about 200 families this holiday. Sponsors and donors are needed.
“We prefer people call or come in and pick out a family,” said Alison Rhoton Williams, county manager. “We have a binder here in the office with a listing of each family members needs.”
Gifts must be returned by Dec. 17 and should be wrapped. Donations of wrapping paper and tape are also welcomed.

 As the holiday season is swiftly approaching, the Salvation Army of Grant County is seeking help from the community in its efforts to make sure everyone in the community can celebrate this winter.
There are several ways to get involved with the Grant County Unit of Salvation Army.
There is a need for bell ringers. Bells will be ringing outside Wal-Mart in Dry Ridge on Friday and Saturdays.
The annual Red Kettle Campaign will begin on Friday, Nov. 23 and continue until Christmas.
Bell ringers work on Friday evenings and Saturdays outside Wal-Mart in Dry Ridge.
“We need as many people as possible to ring bells,” said Dick Austin, chairman of the Grant County Chapter.
He said in the past, bell ringers have been youth and school groups and sometimes families.
Bell ringing is the Salvation Army’s major fundraiser and all money raised goes toward the organization’s social services for the following year.
Volunteers are also needed to help with other projects throughout the year.
Anyone wishing to sign up as a bell ringer or requesting more information should call 859-823-1111 or 859-992-9394.

The Grant County Sheriff’s Department and Williamstown Police Department will assist needy children in Grant County through the Shop With A Cop program.
The police agencies work in cooperation with each elementary school in Grant County. Each schools family resource center staff select students to participate in the program. Around 20 children will be selected this year.
Police officers will pick up the children in their police cruisers and take them to Wal-Mart to shop. Children choose clothes and shoes before selecting toys.  Afterwards the children are treated to lunch donated by Edwardo’s Pizza in Williamstown.
Approximately $250 is spent on each child.
Shop With A Cop will be held on Saturday, Dec. 8. Donations may be sent to the Shop With A Cop fund at Forcht Bank.
For more information, call Sheriff Chuck Dills at 859-824-3333.