Valdosta Mayor and Fire Department Bring Cheer to Local Patients

| November 17, 2014

Valdosta City Courthouse

VALDOSTA — The City of Valdosta is doing its part to make the holiday season special for persons with developmental disabilities and behavioral health needs who reside at the Parkwood Developmental Center. On Monday, Dec. 22, at 10 a.m., Mayor John Gayle and members of the Valdosta Fire Department will deliver gifts to the 110 patients who reside at the facility.

Each year, Valdosta, along with other cities across Georgia, has collected and delivered gifts to patients at state behavorial health hospitals through the annual Mayors’ Christmas Motorcade, sponsored by the Georgia Municipal Association. However, due to the closure of the Southwestern State Hospital in Thomasville, the nearest state hospital serving Valdosta patients is located in Columbus. Instead of collecting and transporting these gifts to a distant community, Mayor Gayle opted to spread the cheer locally.

“I encourage the citizens and businesses of our generous community to remember those who are less fortunate during the holiday season—particularly these 110 patients, some of which have resided at the Parkwood Developmental Center since it opened over 30 years ago,” said Mayor John Gayle. “Facilities like these are committed to providing quality of life care and life-skills training to people who cannot live independently—a service that is both needed and appreciated in our community.”

Local businesses, civic organizations, churches, schools, scout troops, and other interested groups or indivudals are encouraged to help with the collection of gifts for this event. Items being collected for patients in time for the holidays include clothing for men and women (see sizes listed below), hair dryers, small radios and clock radios, matchbox cars/trucks, small musical instruments, and toiletries such as solid deodorant, body wash, body spray and cologne/perfume.

Monetary donations are also welcomed and will be used to purchase uncollected items on the list. Unwrapped donations and checks made payable to the Valdosta Fire Department may be accepted through Monday, Dec. 22, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., at the Fire Department’s Administrative Office, located at 106 S Oak Street.

For more information, contact VFD Lt. Dereck Willis at (229) 333-1835.

NOTE: Clothing sizes needed are as follows:

T-shirts Male/female sizes: S, M. L, XL
Light jacket/pullovers Male/female sizes: M. L, XL
Sweat suits Male/female sizes: M, L, XL
Women’s Underwear Male/female sizes: S, M. L, XL
Men’s Underwear Male/female sizes: M. L, XL

Sementha Mathews: Public Information Officer

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