| By Jason C. Mattox
After several weeks of accepting applications from families needing help for their children during the upcoming holiday season, the Panola County Department of Human Services says they have all the children they can handle for this Christmas season.
"While we do have people coming in to adopt the kids, they are not coming in like we would want them to," DHS County Homemaker Diane Davis said. "And at this point we have 350 first-time children registered."
Davis said DHS went into this Christmas adoption drive with a slightly different approach than they have in previous years.
"We wanted to find children we had not helped in the years prior," she said. "We had a good response from people coming in and letting us know about people we wouldn’t have found otherwise."
Of the 350 children on the list, Davis said 130 have been "adopted" so far.
"That is a good response, but we still have a lot of kids that need to be taken care of this Christmas," she said.
Davis said one business in Panola County was foregoing an office gift exchange in order to help some of the children.
"They had all of the employees say they would rather spend the $20 they usually spend on a gift on some of these children who really need our help," she said.
In addition to that office, DHS also received a $500 cash donation from an anonymous donor.
"We have the same donor that comes in each year and donates $500, but he asks to remain anonymous," she said. "His donation is always a big help when we have to go out shopping."
Anyone wishing to make a financial contribution can make checks payable to the Batesville Exchange Club who will administrate the funds for DHS.
"The state doesn’t mind us getting cash donations, but anyone wanting to leave checks would need to go through another agency," Davis said. "The Exchange Club has once again volunteered to help us with that."
Anyone wishing to adopt a child or make a donation can do so by calling Davis at 487-2098.