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Albany NAACP makes Christmas merrier for less fortunate students

Lamar Reese Magnet School partners with Albany NAACP

The Albany-Dougherty chapter of the NAACP sponsored a Christmas gift giveaway to 50 students of Lamar Reese Magnet School for the arts Wednesday. This was the first Christmas the NAACP has partnered with a school, officials say. (Staff Photo: Jim West)

The Albany-Dougherty chapter of the NAACP sponsored a Christmas gift giveaway to 50 students of Lamar Reese Magnet School for the arts Wednesday. This was the first Christmas the NAACP has partnered with a school, officials say. (Staff Photo: Jim West)

ALBANY — Some of the children at Lamar Reese Magnet School of the Arts will have a happier Christmas this year thanks to a partnership between the school and the Albany-Dougherty County branch of NAACP.

Tammy Green, district coordinator for the Georgia NAACP played “Santa” to 50 eager youngsters of all grades Wednesday near a Christmas tree inside the school. Green said a sampling of “less financially fortunate” children to recieve the brightly wrapped gifts was selected from classes kindegarten through fifth grade. As their names were called, the patient students stepped up to recieve their presents.

“You see all those smiling faces? We’re so glad we were able to do this,” Green said.

While some Thanksgiving benefits have been provided in the past, Green said this is the first year the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People has provided presents for students of a school.

“Mostly we’ve gone to different schools or to nursing homes and given out fruit. This was pretty much at the last minute,” Green said. “This year we saw a lot of need, so we went with a school.”

Green said the NAACP chapter had been contacted by officials of the school, which is on Lily Pond Road in Albany, asking if something could be put together for the children most in need. The presents themselves, provided at a discount from Kmart on Dawson Road, were typically shoes or clothing — useful, but also something the children would enjoy, Green said.

“We wanted to give back to the community,” Green said, “and to share the love with those in greatest need.”