Family Patterns Matter delivers Christmas gifts
by Clay Neely
On a chilly Christmas Eve morning, dozens of volunteers gathered in the parking lot of Junction Lanes to assemble and prepare to deliver more than five car loads of Christmas toys, food, clothing and hygiene products to needy families in the Coweta area.
Linda Kirkpatrick, founder and CEO of new group Family Patterns Matter, organized the event with donations from local residents, churches, organizations and businesses.
Kirkpatrick estimates more than 250 individuals would be served on Christmas Eve with the help of the volunteers, including her son Timothy, who was driving a pickup truck filled with toys to the various houses included in their route.
“We have food bags, we have coats, clothes, toys, toiletries, you name it,” said Kirkpatrick.
“I love Christmas,” said Kirkpatrick. “The greatest part of the entire day is the look on the parents’ faces. We knock on the door and ask if they have any children. It’s incredible.”
According to Kirkpatrick, the ability to bring Christmas to those in need is a crucial role that she and her volunteers take pride in filling.
“One volunteer knocked on a door last year and there was absolutely nothing in their home that would have let you know Christmas was here. It was absolutely overwhelming,” said Kirkpatrick.
Although Kirkpatrick has been doing this for five years, this is the first year she has run the event as the founder and CEO of Family Patterns Matter — a local, non-profit formed in the Newnan-Coweta Community this year which focuses on breaking patterns of family abuse and involving local youth.
“I’ve had several last-minute calls from people that tried to sign up for things like Toys for Tots and other organizations but were too late,” said Kirkpatrick. “I told them, ‘you know what? We’ll make it work.’”
“And military families,” said volunteer Dr. Bonnie Thomas. “After reading all these articles about them having to go on food stamps? It’s ridiculous. We’re honored to help them out.”
“So many people and organizations helped us out with getting this event together,” said Kirkpatrick. “Moreland United Methodist, Heritage Christian Church in Fayetteville, Coweta-Fayette Rotary, Juvenile Justice Center, the Solicitors Office, Food Outlet, Newnan Rotary Club, Shiloh Christian Church, Publix at Thomas Crossroads, Children's Restoration Network, and so many generous individual donors. I can’t thank them enough.”