For 51 years, cities across Georgia have brought the joy of the holiday season to patients at Georgia’s regional mental health and mental retardation hospitals through the Mayors’ Christmas Motorcade. The program, begun in 1958 by the Georgia Municipal Association in cooperation with then Governor Ernest Vandiver, relies on citizen participation in each city to donate gifts for the patients, many of who would not receive gifts or be recognized without the Mayors’ Christmas Motorcade.
Gifts should be new, unwrapped and are for the adult patients at the hospital. Suggested gifts include: personal care products, watches, jewelry, playing cards, crossword puzzles, board games, art supplies, walkman radios, stationary and stamps, movies (PG or G rated only), music CDs and cassettes, tote bags, casual clothing, pajamas, and other gifts appropriate for adults. Monetary donations are welcome; make checks payable to Southwestern State Hospital.
Items donated from the City of Albany will be delivered to Southwestern State Hospital in Thomasville. Drop donations at the following locations through Dec. 9:
- · Recreation and Parks office at 1301 N. Monroe St. (in Tift Park)
- Mayor’s office at 222 Pine Ave., Suite 580 (Government Center)
- Engineering Department at 240 Pine Ave., Suite 200 (Central Square Building)
- Thronateeska Heritage Center at 100 W. Roosevelt Ave.
Civic organizations, businesses, churches, schools, scout troops, and individual citizens are encouraged to help with the collection of gifts for the Mayors’ Christmas Motorcade. For more information on how you can participate, call Kristin Caso at the Albany Recreation and Parks Department at 430-5222.