Christmas Connection Now Open

The Christmas Connection, which has been helping needy families in the Big Bend for 27 years, opened its doors Monday for the holiday season.

The Christmas Connection collects gifts and food each year and distributes them to more than 800 needy families in Leon and surrounding counties.

The first donations started coming through the door Monday afternoon.

Serena Moyle, bringing donations, said, "We really do love to do it as a family and as a street, everybody in our neighborhood contributes and we just always enjoy starting off the season with the gift of giving. We are so blessed, we just want to share the bounty with everybody else."

This year the Christmas Connection has set up shop at the corner of Old Bainbridge and Tharpe Streets in the old Winn-Dixie store. Bishop John Ricard stopped by to bless the site. It's open weekdays from noon to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.