Volunteers donned striped shirts and stepped behind bars Tuesday to spend the morning gathering pledges of cash for Brighter Christmas of Tracy.

About 27 people solicited donations at the annual fundraising jail, which was set up in front of the Tracy Fire Administration building at the corner of Ninth Street and Central Avenue. They raised $8,500 over seven hours.

The youngest jailbird, Carly Abercrombie, raised the most money. The 12-year-old had brought in more than $1,050 as of Wednesday afternoon.

Brighter Christmas helps families in need each December with boxes of food and gifts for children up to 13 years old. The jail-and-bail money will pay for toys and food to supplement what people donate at the Angel Tree in the West Valley Mall and in barrels around town.

Families that signed up for Brighter Christmas help will pick up their boxes Dec. 22. Volunteers are needed to help with sorting, packing and distribution Dec. 20-22. For information, visit brighterchristmasoftracy.com.

Contact the Tracy Press at tpnews@tracypress.com or 835-3030.

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