Light up the Holidays Gift Drive, Make the Season Brighter for more than 400 Georgians

(Dollywood Facebook)
Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 2:07 AM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - During the holidays, it’s always important to think of those who go through one of the happiest times of the year alone.

Leaders in Columbus and the Georgia Department of Human Services are asking for your help to make the season brighter for an overlooked population.

The Georgia Department of Human Services is asking for people to not let older adults and people with disabilities be forgotten over the holidays.

How? Through The Light Up the Holidays gift drive hosted by the Division of Aging Services.

“Columbus is such a giving community that when they sense and see a need the whole community bands together and locks arms to fill that need,” says Jerry ‘Pops’ Barnes, Columbus city councilman for District 1.

Barnes encourages the community be a part of the 9th year of the Light Up the Holidays gift drive.

“It’s a great way to put a smile on their face this season,” says Dwan Grooms, district manager of the Public Guardianship Office under the Division of Aging Services.

The Division of Aging Services serves older adults and people with disabilities who are under guardianship; people who are unable to make their own decisions or have no one to advocate for themselves.

“They’ve been deemed incompetent by the probate court and then we step in to make their legal and medical decision. Most of the time, they don’t have family and we are the only person they see besides the staff in a nursing home or a personal care home,” says Grooms.

From now until December 1, you can sponsor a vulnerable Georgian.

Here’s how it works:

You can sponsor an individual’s wish list, or you can buy items from DAS’ Amazon Gift List.

If you would like an individual’s wish list, please email

Barnes says this drive kills two birds with one stone.

“They’re trying to meet the needs of the individuals, but also during the holiday times, make these individuals feel warm, fuzzy that someone has thought about them enough to give them something.”

So far approximately 396′s wish lists have been fulfilled, but there are 50 people who still need to be taken care; at least 20 of them are in Columbus.

“A lot of times, we’re always giving gifts to other people or receiving a gift, but this is a time where you’re giving to someone who can’t do for themselves,” said Grooms.

According to the DAS website, the last day for the drive says November 17. We spoke with the gift drive coordinator, Jennifer Hogan, who confirms the drive has been extended to December 1.

For Columbus and surrounding areas, the drop off site is located at 3575 Macon Road, Suite 26, Columbus, GA 31907.

Other Drop off locations:


47 Trinity Avenue SW, 1st Floor

Atlanta, GA 30334


520 Fenwick Street

Augusta, Georgia 30906


2945 Miller Ferry Road, Suite A

Calhoun, GA 30701


970 E. Kytle Street

Cleveland, GA 30528


95 Constitution Boulevard

Lawrenceville, Georgia 30046


4875 Riverside Dr. Ste. 203

Macon, Ga 31210


533-B Highway 29

North Newnan, GA 30263


761 Wheaton Street

Savannah, GA 31401


Upon request a location will be determined


215-B Albany Avenue

Waycross, Georgia 31501