The United Way's annual Community Christmas donation drive has met its goal. With boxes located at dozens of businesses, schools, churches, and other organizations participating in the program around the Riverbend, organizers expect to be able to help more than 8.000 people again this year.

United Way spokesman Erin Smith tells The Big Z the community came through in a big way.

Click here for Smith's comments

The program also gathers donations of non-perishable food, clothes, blankets, towels, baby care items, hygiene items, and new toys. The donations were quickly turned around and redistributed to 16 agencies in the community. Those agencies are: 100 Black Men – Alton Branch; Boys and Girls Club of Alton; Calhoun County Council for Senior Citizens; Caritas Family Solutions; Catholic Charities of Madison County; Catholic Children’s Home; Centerstone; Children’s Home and Aid; Crisis Food Center, Inc.; Illinois Center for Autism; Madison County Urban League; Oasis Women’s Center; Operation Blessing; Riverbend Family Ministries; Riverbend Head Start & Family Services; The Salvation Army – Alton.

(Copyright WBGZ Radio / www.AltonDailyNews.com)