Many of their endeavors gained some public notice, but just as many more are never heard of except by the participants and the beneficiaries.
Among those publicized, to some extent, is the Children’s Restoration Network’s effort “12 Days of Caring” which collected over 2,700 gifts, from toys to clothing to gift cards, and distributed them to needy children, via various shelters throughout the area. Five of the shelters, serving about 150 kids, are located in Cobb County. They conducted a “Wrap Party,” on Prado Lane near Town Center Mall, which lasted from the 19th thru the 22nd, with volunteers coming in to wrap the gifts that had been collected. Generous residents participated in the collecting, as well as in the “Wrap Party.”
Not receiving any press, but equally as outstanding, was an effort spearheaded by Father Thomas Reilly, and now in its second year, for which the parishioners of St. Ann Catholic Church donated funds to purchase 200 camouflage backpacks. They packed them with items for survival, comfort and personal hygiene. These 200 backpacks, along with 50 reconditioned bicycles were distributed, in early December, to homeless and needy veterans, with help from the Military Support Ministry, through MUST Ministries.
All around Cobb County, churches, civic and service organizations, along with private firms, sponsored programs to help those in need. Such efforts are particularly generous, due to our economic situation and are more vital than ever for the same reason. They are shining examples of man’s generosity and willingness to share with those less fortunate. In such deeds, is true charity defined, springing from a kind heart, not a sense of obligation or outside pressure or coercion.
The East Cobb Lions Club, in concert with other area Lions Clubs is, on this Christmas Day, putting together 120 meals to be delivered through their Meals on Wheels Program. They are doing the assembly at the Powers Ferry United Methodist Church, 245 Powers Ferry Road, Marietta, GA 30067. They need help. This is a great chance for a different kind of Christmas giving. It is an especially good opportunity to teach children about the Christmas message. One of the neat things they do is decorate paper bags with drawings and messages, all done by volunteers, many of them children. The bags are filled with fruit and go with the meals. My granddaughter and I participated last year and, if my plans work out, I will be there as you read this. Around 9:30 to 10 Christmas morning is the best time to get there.
Most of the area churches had special events to commemorate the season, including living nativity scenes, dramatizations of the Christmas story, musical offerings and Christmas carol sing-a-longs.
Area community theaters have been presenting a variety of Christmas shows ranging from the redneck comedy “Dashing Through the Snow,” to several presentations of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” to “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.” The Strand and Atlanta Lyric Theatre presented “Sanders’ Family Christmas,” as well as the Irving Berlin classic “White Christmas.”
All around Cobb County, despite the unemployment, the foreclosures and the general poor economic conditions, the people of Cobb County kept the spirit of Christmas alive and well in this corner of the world. A poem, written by a dear friend, the late Jim Brooks, about Marietta, actually describes the mood of all of Cobb County. The title of the poem is “Christmastime in Marietta.”
It’s Christmastime in Marietta, and all around the Square,
From Ivy Grove to Glover Park, the season fills the air.
The gazebo is dressed in greenery and bows; lights adorn the trees
Candles glow in stately homes all along Church and Cherokee.
Shoppers dash from store to store looking for presents more than just “so-so,”
While the train whistle echoes remind of Christmases past at the old depot.
Carolers gather around the old fountain to sing of the season’s best,
Stirring the heart for that special day with family, prayer and rest.
It’s Christmastime in Marietta, the Gem City of the South, to be sure.
May God bless you and yours and always keep you secure.”
Pete Borden lives in east Cobb.