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Madison County agencies need donations and volunteers to help during the holidays

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - At this time of year, many people are in a generous mood. That's when food pantries and charitable groups see more donations and families eager to help. But charitable groups in North Alabama say they need your help even after Christmas.

"This is a lonely time of year," Madison County CASA executive director Ann Anderson said.

Among the smiles and a stroll through the colorful lights in Huntsville, you may not be thinking of many who will spend Christmas alone. CASA volunteers spend time calling seniors and checking on them.

"People appreciate those phone calls, they appreciate the fact that somebody cares," Anderson said.

CASA leaders say just like the hundreds of people they help every Christmas, they too need help for the holidays.

"We build wheelchair ramps for people 60 and older and anybody who's bed bound. Our youngest client is six," Anderson said.

Food Bank of North Alabama executive director Shirley Schofield said there are "between 146,000 and 150,000 people who are in need. About one in four are children,"

One week from Christmas, the Food Bank of North Alabama is well stocked.

"Our financial donations are a little bit down this year," Schofield said.

Schofield says she's not sure why but says the food bank will take the help where they can get it.

"Generally, even if people have had a tough year, around the end of the year, they always try to dig a little deeper and give something to those who are in worse shape," Schofield said.

Both agencies say donations are big, but they also need volunteers to make phone calls and go door-to-door helping families and neighbors.

To find out how you can help CASA, you can reach them at (256) 533-7775. Volunteers help at the food bank several times a week. You can reach food bank supervisors at (256) 382-0296.

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