In the case of some mentally ill and developmentally disabled people in the Northwest Georgia area, it varied greatly from toilet paper to biscuits to a romance novel.
Rome Mayor Evie McNiece and officials with the Georgia Municipal Association and the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Development Disabilities were at the Rome Civic Center on Tuesday morning sorting out gifts that were handed out to about 300 people served by the DBHDD.
McNiece chaired this year’s event for Northwest Georgia.
Their efforts were part of GMA’s Mayors Motorcade, a tradition that began in 1958 to assure that those housed in the state’s mental health facilities would receive gifts at Christmas.
Even though Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital closed last year, the tradition continues, but there is no actual motorcade.
On Tuesday morning the Rome Civic Center on Jackson Hill was filled with a variety of items requested from the patients’ wish lists — shampoo, clothes, shoes, pajama pants, toiletries and candy were just some of the items included with toilet paper, romance novels and biscuits.
“There is just as much need for the motorcade than ever before,” said Yalonde Tanner, exhibit and member services manager for GMA.
Several other North Georgia cities also participated in the program, including Royston, Calhoun, Dallas, Summerville and Tallapoosa.