Sheriff’s charities to provide gifts for children


By Sarrah Peters, News Editor

The Etowah Sheriff’s Charities is currently holding a Christmas Meat Sale. The charity is currently selling 10-pound turkeys for $35 and 8-pound Boston butts for $25. Orders must be placed by Monday, December 19. The meat will be smoked and ready for pick-up on Friday, December 23. The orders must be paid for at the time of order. For more information, email

The response so far has been good, with the limited supply of hams already selling out. All the proceeds from the sale go to buy Christmas for kids in Etowah County.

This year, the Etowah Sheriff’s Charities is sponsoring 54 children.

“This is our largest number so far,” said Etowah County Sheriff’s Office Director of Communications Natalie Barton.

This is the fifth year the charity has been in practice and its main purpose is to provide gifts during the holidays.

“If we see needs throughout the rest of the year, where families need help, where children need help, then we will also meet those needs, but this is the largest and most visible thing we do,” said Barton.

The kids are chosen through applications from counselors in the county’s elementary schools. 

“We tell these elementary school counselors, if you’ve got a child that has older siblings or younger siblings, we want all that information,” said Barton.

This year, the charity is providing gifts for children ranging from one year old to 17 years old. 

“We have babies to seniors in high school,” said Barton. “So it’s a wide range.”

The Etowah Sheriff’s Charities tries to give necessities first.

“Each child gets a brand new jacket, two new outfits, a pair of pajamas, socks, underwear, brand new tennis shoes or whatever kind of shoes they request,” said Barton.

Hygeine products are given, including toothbrushes and toothpaste that were donated by local dentists, Dr. Forest Bailey and Dr. Lewis Mitchell.

After the necessities are met, two to three gifts from the child’s wish list are selected.

This year’s presents are all bought. Barton said that the charity had spent all last week shopping. The presents are all bought locally.

“It’s very rewarding to know you are helping these kids,  and that they are probably going to be so surprised Christmas morning when they wake up to all these gifts,” said Barton.

The charity has started wrapping gifts this week. Female inmates are assisting with the gift wrapping.

“This is just another part of them giving back to the community,” said Barton. “They enjoy it.”

To get the presents to the kids, the Etowah Sheriff’s Charities calls the guardians to come pick the gifts up or to drop them off while the kids are not there. The wrapped gifts are left unlabeled, so the guardians may label them as they see fit.

“We try to keep this as discreet as possible,” said Barton.

In conjuction with the Red Cross, Etowah Sheriff’s Charities is hosting a blood and toy drive at the Gadsden Mall in the Premeire Cinema lobby on December 22 from 1 to 7 p.m. Blood donors are asked to bring a toy. 

Every donor gets a t-shirt and a 50 percent off Cothran’s Bakery coupon. For every ten donors, a ham will be donated to the Etowah Sheriff’s Charities. 

The goal for the event is 130 donors, as blood is in high demand at the moment. 

To donate money or toys to the Etowah Sheriff’s Charities, call 256-546-2825 and ask for Natalie Barton.

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