A Christmas Angel in Gwinnett County

For the past couple of years there has been a neighbor of mine that has been a Christmas Angel for a number of local area children and families.

Janie Morris, a Hamilton Mill resident and school teacher at Atha Road Elementary school in Monroe Ga. has come to the aid of numerous families during the Christmas season.  With her zeal for helping the needy and donations from numerous Hamilton Mill residents she has been able to provide Christmas toys, clothes and other items to those in need.

I have been so impressed with her thoughtfulness and generosity that I asked her to give me a little insight as to what she does and why she does it. It goes without saying that the families she helps are grateful and thankful to have such a special person in their lives.

So here is Janie’s responses to a few of the questions I asked.

What I do and Why I do It:

As a child Christmas was always such a special time.  Although we were fairly poor my mother always made Christmas special.  It was the one time of year for me when we knew we would get a new toy and new pajamas. Giving to children and their families at Christmas is a way to share blessings.  Christmas was always special to me as a child and I want to help make it special for children who otherwise would not have gifts on Christmas.  The thought of a child, regardless of age, waking up to no presents under the tree breaks my heart!  This is my way of keeping the spirit of Christmas alive!

Recipients/Location of Families:

The families consist of children who Atha Road Elementary and their siblings from newborn through the 12th grade.  When possible we also give a little something to the parent(s) guardians.  Atha is located in Monroe, Ga.  in Walton County.  Each year the classroom teachers are asked to submit names of students to the school counselor who they think may need help at Christmas.  The counselor contacts the parent / guardian and confirms they need help.  If they do, a form is sent to the parent to complete.  Information such as clothing size, shoe size, hobbies, and toys with a list are completed on the form.  The counselor assigns each child a “number” (for confidentiality reasons) and people are asked to “adopt” a child for Christmas.  Those of us who adopt the child (shop for them) do not know who the children are.  The families remain anonymous to the shoppers. All gifts are put into black trash bags, tagged with the number, and taken to the school where they await parents to pick the gifts up on pick-up dates.

This will be the third Christmas the residents of Hamilton Mill have helped.  I post on the message board asking for people to shop for a child and the responses have been great.  This year Hamilton Mill helped 90 kids.  One homeowner made it possible to shop for 63 of those kids! The generosity is amazing.  ”Goodwill towards Men” is alive and well in Hamilton Mill.

So there you have it, a Christmas Angel living in our midst. My wife and I “adopted” one of the children and allowed our kids to help pick out the presents and clothes we provided and they had a lot of fun helping us.

If you would like more information or would like to donate to a needy child/family, email me and I will pass your information onto Janie. It is not to late to help a family in need.

About Matt Fagioli

Matt is the Operating Broker at Diamond Dwellings Realty based in Gwinnett County Georgia. Matt has sold nearly 600 homes in Metro Atlanta in the last 10 years

One Response to A Christmas Angel in Gwinnett County

  1. Laquanda Wofford December 17, 2008 at 5:49 pm #

    I wanted to see if I can get help with christmas assistance. I am a single mother with three, and one on the way. I am currently unemployed. I lost my job a week ago, and really need help. If you can help me, and my family. I am grateful if not just pray for me, and thanks for your time.