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Supporting children, Toys for Tots provides toys, books, games during pandemic

Boys & Girls Club, Rotary Club of Humboldt, Englewood Baptist partner to distribute toys.

by Danny Wade

FILLING BAGS WITH TOYS – A group of 20 or so volunteers from the Boys & Girls Club of Humboldt, Englewood Baptist Church North’s Mission Humboldt and the Rotary Club of Humboldt joined forces to fill 1,000 bags with toys, books and games last Thursday afternoon at East Elementary School. The items were available through a national partnership between Good360 and Toys for Tots, who teamed up with Shiloh Ministries, who in turn partnered with the Boys & Girls Club. The bags were given out Saturday as families drove to the school and picked them up.

Three community-minded organizations came together last week with a plan to offer area children something to help spend their time during the COVID pandemic. The Boys & Girls Club of Humboldt, the Rotary Club of Humboldt and Englewood Baptist Church Medina’s Mission Humboldt, teamed up to fill 1,000 bags with books, games and toys for children.

According to Tommy Goodrum, president of Humboldt’s Boys & Girls Club board of directors, “The Humboldt club has had the opportunity to team up with Shiloh Ministry Inc. to distribution over 17,000 toys, books and games to children on Saturday, July 11, 2020 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at East Elementary School in Humboldt. This opportunity comes through a national partnership between Good360 and Toys for Tots, who have teamed up with Shiloh Ministry Inc. to distribute the items to families in need in the West Tennessee area.”

Goodrum, who is also a Humboldt Rotarian, enlisted the assistance of Rotary Club members to help put the bags together last Thursday evening at the school so they would be ready to distribute Saturday. B&G staff and board members volunteered in preparing the bags.

Englewood’s Mission Humboldt partners with the Boys & Girls Club on many levels and was onboard for this project as well.

Rotary President Doug Short was pleased to help Tommy Goodrum lead the club in partnering with the Boys & Girls Club on such a worthy project. Putting together 1,000 bags with 17,000 books, toys and games takes a lot of volunteers and community service hours.

“The Rotary Club is proud to partner with the Boys & Girls Club and their mission, ” said Short. “We’ve supported them in the past and will continue to support them. The Boys & Girls Club provides a much-needed service to the youth of our community.”

Goodrum said Andrea Stewart contacted him regarding Shiloh Ministries and a program they were sponsoring for children, Toys for Tots, during the pandemic. Stewart was previously the director of Humboldt Weed & Seed, and the first director of the Boys & Girls Club of Humboldt. Pallets and pallets of toys were in a warehouse in Lexington.

Goodrum contacted Shiloh Ministries about their program and offered to assist with distributing the toys in Humboldt. Everything was a go.
Needing a location to package the bags of toys and distribute them, Goodrum contacted Humboldt City Schools about using East Elementary, which graciously offered the use of the school cafeteria as a staging area and distribute the toys in the parking lot.

“Books, games and toys offer many benefits during this extraordinary time of need,” Goodrum added. “They will help to combat boredom, relieve anxiety in children, facilitate a return to normalcy and even contribute to the educational development of our nation’s most precious resource—the children.”

ROTARIANS AT WORK – These are some of the Humboldt Rotarians that volunteered to assist with filling 1,000 bags with toys, books and games for area children. Some of the items for the bags were for younger children, some were for teens and most were for ages in between and designated for boys and for girls.

Thursday, volunteers from all three organizations met at East’s cafeteria and put together 1,000 bags. Since the program is designated for children from toddlers to 17 years old, there were four different types of toy bag created—toddlers, children (boys bags and girls bags) and for teens. Toys were grouped age appropriate along an assembly line in the cafeteria. Approximately 20 volunteers worked the lines, filling bags, placing them in designated areas per age group. Hundreds of empty boxes and several pallets were hauled off.

“Our members enjoy doing these type of projects and we will continue to do more throughout the years,” Short added. “We always strive to be involved with activities that will make our community better.”

With expectations of assisting more than 1,000 children at their COVID-19 relief toy give away, bags were distributed on a first come first serve basis and the child had to be present in the vehicle to receive toys.

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