F.O.P. to help senior families in county

LAWRENCEVILLE - The Gwinnett Fraternal Order of Police's biggest job is to support fellow officers in times of need, but they always find a way to give back to the greater Gwinnett community. This year they are taking on a new project to help feed seniors.

"There are many seniors who are in need," said Gwinnett F.O.P. President Ray Dunlap. "And we felt it very important to help them during the holidays, knowing it isn't always the best of times for them."

Fifty senior families, most without a Thanksgiving meal, received the entire traditional menu including a turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans and a pumpkin pie, thanks to the organization. The group hired an office manager to coordinate raising the money for both this and their Shop with a Cop Christmas event for children.

More than 200 businesses contributed, including U.S. Food Services, which provided deep discounts on most of the food and donated some of the products.

Dunlap said the Gwinnett F.O.P. could not carry out these projects if it was not for the contributing community.

"We couldn't have done this if it wasn't for the business community," said Dunlap. "The generosity was so great that even the small businesses gave what they could."

Gary Galloway, the volunteer services coordinator for Gwinnett Senior Services, said he would do as much as he could to coordinate holiday projects for the seniors.

"If a business, group or organization like the F.O.P. is interested in helping for the holidays, I'll work to make it as easy as possible for them," Galloway said. "We have so many seniors in need that we are willing to take all the help we can get."

Other groups already on board to help this year include Airgas Safety, the Collins Hill High School Key Club, Grace Baptist Church of Snellville, the Gwinnett American Red Cross Youth Council, the Gwinnett Arena, Home Depot Supply, North Metro First Baptist Church, Safeco Insurance and the University of Georgia's Gwinnett Center MPA program students.

For more information about Senior Services or on doing a holiday project of your own, call Gary Galloway at 770-822-8837 or Celia Moore at 770-822-8775.

Free classes for immigrants

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett Technical College will soon open registration for its free English and Civics classes.

The classes provide instruction on becoming a citizen, civic participation and U.S. history and government. They also teach English reading, writing and listening comprehension.

The college partners with World Relief Refugee Resettlement Services and local schools to provide the free classes. They are divided into six levels, from beginning to advanced.

Classes will be held at Berkmar High School beginning Jan. 9. Registration will be from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in the C-wing of Berkmar on Dec. 5.

Contribute now for Toys for Tots

SUWANEE - Gwinnett residents are encouraged to contribute to the "Toys for Tots" drive held by Grand Central Self Storage.

The toys will be given to needy children as holiday gifts. The program is having trouble making its goal of 1,000 presents for kids, so residents are encouraged to help by donating unwrapped toys. The two locations are at 3495 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road in Suwanee and at 3313 Stone Mountain Highway in Snellville. For more information, call 770-271-3711.

Gwinnett Gab appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.