TLC Center hopes to provide needed items to local children this holiday season
Published 8:40 am Thursday, November 5, 2015
Many people have happy childhood memories of the holiday season, memories of family meals and presents under the tree, but for some in our community, the holidays are not a time of happiness and presents.
Some families in our community struggle daily to provide the basics of food, shelter and simple things like personal hygiene items.
Last year, after seeing some of the needs in the community, the TLC Community Center launched a program to provide some of the basic necessities to local children in need.
After a successful first year, the TLC Community Center is once again asking the public to help them provide “Bundles of Love” to children in the local community.
“Many fundraisers and item drives focus on collecting items for children in other countries,” TLC Community Center Director Angie Odom said. “That is a wonderful project, but these same needs are present in our own hometown community and all too often they go unmet.”
The “Bundles” will include basics like shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, dental floss, deodorant, soap, brushes, body wash, bath sponge or washcloth, school supplies, socks and mittens. Bundles can also include small toys, snacks and kid-friendly foods. Each bundle will also include a personal note of encouragement sharing the message of salvation and God’s love, Odom said.
The Center has taken referrals for the program from the local school systems, doctor’s offices, the health department and the Department of Children’s Services along with referrals from the community.
Center volunteers will begin delivering the bundles in late November and early December to children from toddler age all the way up to teenagers.
Last year, the Center delivered 812 packages to children and Odom said she would like to be able to provide even more this year.
This year, Odom said the Center is partnering with Northeast Community Credit Union to provide the items for the children.
NCCU donated $500 for the Center to use for the program and will be providing volunteers and tote bags for the distribution of the gifts. NCCU will also serve as a drop-off location for the program at all four NCCU branches in Elizabethton, Roan Mountain and Johnson City.
“Our primary mission is to help improve the lives of our neighbors, financially or otherwise,” NCCU President and CEO Kathy Campbell said. “There is a need and we are pleased to be given the opportunity to work with TLC Community Center to help meet that need.”
NCCU branch locations are at 980 Jason Witten Way and 1321 Highway 19E in Elizabethton; 8301 Highway 19E in Roan Mountain and 313 W. Oakland Ave. in Johnson City. Bundles can also be dropped off at the TLC Community Center, located at 145 Judge Don Lewis Blvd., Suites 5-7, Elizabethton. The cutoff date to accept donations for Bundles is Nov. 17 so that volunteers have enough time to prepare the Bundles for delivery.
For more information on the Bundles of Love project or the TLC Community Center, please call Angie Odom at 895-8601.