45 less fortunate families are getting Christmas stockings, coats, candy, hats, gloves and presents for the children thanks to the efforts of a local business.
FCi Federal, which is more commonly known as the Kentucky Consular Center, delivered presents for 15 families to Williamsburg Independent School, Boston Elementary School and Pleasant View Elementary School Monday morning.
The “FCi Shares and Cares” program started last year after FCi Federal took over operation of the Kentucky Consular Center, which is a visa immigration processing facility for the United States Department of State.
Last year FCi donated to 30 needy families and increased that number to 45 families this year.
“Next year we hope to reach out to another school and get the program a little bigger,” noted Tammy Ball, a supervisor at the Williamsburg facility.
Ball said that each care package includes one toy, in addition to all the other items.
“We tried to keep it in the $15 range, but a lot of people found some really good deals and were able to buy more expensive stuff,” she said.
Clettie McKee, another supervisor at FCi Federal, said that the company plans to keep its coat drive going throughout December and then make another coat donation early next year.
Ball noted that employees at the company started work on the Christmas project almost immediately after its Thanksgiving effort, which included food bags for 45 less fortunate families.
Ball admits that she was a little surprised that so many people wanted to give right after donating for the Thanksgiving food drive.
“People just jumped in there wanting to donate even more if they could,” Ball added.
McKee said that all the employees at the Williamsburg facility took part in the program.
In addition, FCi Federal donated items, such as the hats and gloves, which enabled the employees to buy other items for the families, McKee said.
Williamsburg Family Resource Center Director Tammy Stephens said that it wasn’t hard to get a list together of 15 less fortunate families in need of the Christmas stockings.
“We have a lot of kids that we see on a regular basis for various needs. Those are the ones we looked at first naturally. These are the ones that come in often times, who don’t have appropriate clothing or shoes or don’t have a coat when they get here,” Stephens said.
FCi Federal officials noted that one of the reasons Williamsburg, Pleasant View and Boston schools were chosen was the level of need at each school.
Although all students at Williamsburg get free lunch and breakfast, Stephens noted that about 70 percent of the students at the school would meet the federal requirements to receive free lunch and breakfast based upon household income requirements.
“For us to be in the city at an independent school, people assume most of our kids are well off, and that is not necessarily the case because we have the low income housing in our district and several different options like that. With the homeless shelter, we see a lot of transitional kids too,” Stephens added.