North Georgia teammates help 2,000 children in their community enjoy the holidays

OZK Bankers Kris Elliott, Chris Alewine, Donna Pilcher, Katie Hulsebus, Lauren Vaverka, and Bobbie Jo Lea helped bring holiday cheer to more than 2,000 less fortunate children in Forsyth County, Ga.

Members of Bank OZK’s North Georgia market helped The Place of Forsyth County Holiday House provide toys, gifts, and more to 2,000 less fortunate children in their community.

The Place’s Holiday House assists families by providing presents for children who otherwise might go without gifts. The community donates toys, bicycles and other gifts, and parents are awarded points that they can use to shop for presents to give their children the joy of the holiday season.

 “I was touched by what some individuals were looking for,” Lauren Vaverka, SVP/Regional Branch Manager, said. “One had a child who was going through chemo and just wanted a headband because their child has lost their hair. Another was shopping for a family who had been displaced and had no place to live. They wanted the essentials, shampoo, toothpaste, etc. It was very humbling.” 

“Volunteering at the Holiday House has been a great experience,” said Donna Pilcher, VP/Manager of our Banking Center in Cumming, Ga. “The holidays are a time for family and fun. We often get caught up in our own little world at this time of year and might not remember those who need assistance to ensure their children have a happy holiday.”

The Place of Forsyth County was established in 1975 by four Dominican Nuns to improve lives in a compassionate and collaborative manner using the resources within the community to provide financial emergency assistance, clothing, food, and many additional support services.

“The Place is changing lives in Forsyth County, Georgia,” Vaverka said. “It takes more than 700 volunteers to bring holiday joy to the more than 2,000 children in need. We were very excited to support The Place by volunteering for this event. We decided as a group to let the Holiday House be our purpose for this holiday season.”