The Women’s Missionary Union of the Muscle Shoals Baptist Association (WMU) is getting ready for its annual Christmas Project for families in need in Lawrence County.

The project provides Christmas gifts to children of families in need over the holidays each year thanks to the WMU organization and sponsors who volunteer to purchase gifts or donate funds to the project, according to WMU Chair Charlotte Cheatham. 

The annual Christmas Project is two-fold. The first phase of the project sees eligible children who are residents of Lawrence County, who are no older than 12 years old, and who are recipients of food stamps, register for the program. 

Similar to last year, Cheatham said parents or guardians of eligible children may sign up at the Baptist Association Office, which is located at 657 Spring Street in Moulton. Sign up is available on Oct. 25, 26, and 27 and Nov. 1, 2, and 3, from 8 a.m. to noon. 

Cheatham said no appointments are required for registration, but those signing a child up should know the child's clothing and shoe size as well as any wish list items the child has for Christmas. 

To register a child, the parent or guardian must be able to provide Social Security numbers for themselves and their child or children being registered for the program. Parents or guardians must also present a valid i.d. at the time of registration.

This project is not a faith-based event, nor is it confined to Baptist children only, Cheatham said. Any family needing assistance for their child on Christmas, no matter what religious affiliation, may register their child or children.

Once the registration period has ended, WMU will begin seeking out sponsors to support the registered children. Individuals or groups of sponsors may sign up together to sponsor one or more children. Often times, a Sunday school class, a business office, sports team or cheerleading squad, or group of neighbors will decide to sponsor a child together, Cheatham said.

Sponsors will be provided the child's size and wish list to shop for whatever they choose or can afford, she added. Others who aren't sponsoring a child may also donate money or unwrapped toys to WMU to assist with the project.

All monetary donations will go towards assisting children who were left without a sponsor. Donations may be sent to the WMU Christmas Project, P.O. Box 485 in Moulton, or dropped off at the Muscle Shoals Baptist Association Office on Spring Street. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WMU has set a tentative distribution date of Dec. 16 for gift pick-up, Cheatham added. More details will be provided closer to the distribution date, but she said plans are for parents or guardians to pick up gifts from sponsors at the Moulton Recreation Center.

For questions or more information, contact the Muscle Shoals Baptist Association at 256-974-8878. 

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