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PHOTO BY CIERA HUGHES The Russellville Dream Center will host its annual Christmas to Remember Dec. 21 at 11 a.m. at the old Coke plant beside the Dream Center. The center will give away more than 10,000 pounds of food and thousands of pounds of clothes and toys.

Dream Center gives back to community

As the holidays quickly approach, the Russellville Dream Center is working hard to ensure all families are taken care of with its annual Christmas to Remember.

The Dream Center will be giving away more than 10,000 pounds of food, clothes and toys while kids can also enjoy a visit with Santa Claus.

The event will begin at 11 a.m. Dec. 21 at the old Coke plant beside the Dream Center, located at the intersection of Coffee Avenue and Franklin Street in downtown Russellville.

Families attending will line up and be given a ticket. Any families wishing to pick up toys will need to bring their children with them so the child can receive an armband to exchange when they pick out a toy.

“One of the things we do here at the Dream Center is we give back to the community because the community has given to us,” said Russellville Dream Center marketing and donations coordinator Jaci Hogeland. “Us giving back to the community – that is what our heart is.”

The Dream Center runs entirely on donations, so Hogeland said this is the Dream Center’s way of saying thank you.

While families wait to receive their food and clothes, the Dream Center will be serving chicken stew and hotdogs so families have a meal while they wait.

Hogeland said each year the Dream Center gives out about 500 boxes of food for this event and plans for approximately 500 families and 500 children each year.

She said the Dream Center gives out thousands of pounds in clothes and toys each year as well.

“The excitement on the kids’ faces is probably the best part,” Hogeland said. “Some of these kids, they probably won’t get anything other than getting to pick that toy out – and it also gives them a chance to see Santa, since he will be there.”

There will also be a raffle for bigger items, with all of the money raised from the raffle going back into the Dream Center.

Hogeland said people come from several counties each year, and the Dream Center has already received phone calls from people coming to the event.

“We just encourage everyone to come out to it,” Hogeland said. “We look forward to this every year.”