Holiday Donations Down at Greenbriar - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

11/18/03

Holiday Donations Down at Greenbriar

The Greenbriar's Children Center has been helping abandoned and neglected children for more than 50 years. But now, it may have to cut back on some of its services. The embezzlement case earlier this year not only rocked the center then, but now it may cost some of the children their Christmas.

Greenbriar has mounds of Christmas wish lists from some 60 abused, abandoned and neglected children who are in their care. From socks to CD players, the children are asking for all different kinds of things.

"Christmas is a big time around here," said the center's Laurita Taylor. "We try to make sure every child has gifts on Christmas day."

But this holiday season, Christmas might not be a jolly old time. Donations dropped more than 50 percent, making it hard to fulfill the wish lists. "We've seen a decrease this year just in terms of community support that we generally have around the holiday time."

Officials feel one reason donations are down could be because one of their employees, Theresea Jenkins, is accused of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars. And that black cloud that's hanging over the center may be too much for them to overcome.

"I don't think it's been tarnished. Greenbriar's reputation within the community within the last 54 years has been a good one, but things do happen unfortunately," said Taylor.

While children at the center are drawing pictures of their perfect Christmas, officials hope the ongoing criminal trial won't ruin the images of sugar plums dancing in their heads. "Our goal is to continue to provide the support and care we provide for children that need it," said Taylor.

Kids' ages range from infant to 17, so officials hope to provide a good Christmas for them this year.

If you're interested in donating or volunteering, you can give Greenbriar a call at 912.234.3431.

Reported by: Hena Daniels, hdaniels@wtoc.com

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