TLC Community Center accepting donations for ‘Bundles of Love’ program

Published 9:07 am Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Contributed Photo/Angie Odom  Last year, members of Hampton High School's Showing Love to Others (SLO) Club assisted the TLC Community Center in handing out bundles to children in the community.

Contributed Photo/Angie Odom
Last year, members of Hampton High School’s Showing Love to Others (SLO) Club assisted the TLC Community Center in handing out bundles to children in the community.

There is an old saying that “charity begins at home” and it was that sentiment that helped inspire one local service agency to create a program they have dubbed “Bundles of Love.”
This is the third year the TLC Community Center will be collecting items for and then distributing the bundles to children in need throughout the community. During the holidays there are ministry programs that collect items for children overseas who are in need, but TLC Community Center Founder and Director Angie Odom wants to focus the Center’s efforts to help children here in the local community. From that desire, Odom created the Bundles of Love project to help provide local children with some of the items they need that their families may struggle to provide.
“Many children in our community come from families that struggle to make ends meet and provide the basic necessities like food, clothing and shelter as well as simple things like hygiene items,” Odom said. “During the holidays there are many charities like the Salvation Army Angel Tree and the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots that help to ensure these children have a toy to open for Christmas, but that leaves the families continuing to struggle to meet these other needs.”
That is where Bundles of Love comes in.
Through the TLC Center’s other programs, Odom said they encounter many children who would be helped by the Bundles of Love project. The Center also receives referrals from local schools, doctors and service agencies for children and families in need of assistance.
Each Bundle will be filled with basic hygiene items like shampoo, body wash, a toothbrush and toothpaste but will also include things like gloves, socks, some sort of toy and school supplies.
“Area organizations give out school items in August but children run out of these supplies during the winter months,” Odom said. “Children also have to wait at bus stops and stand out in the cold without gloves or hats as many times they are lacking basic winter clothing.”
Also, each Bundle will include a personal note sharing the message of Christ’s love and God’s plan for salvation.
During the first two years of the program, Odom said the Center handed out more than 800 bundles each year. This year, the goal is to collect and handout 1,000 bundles.
Odom attributed the success of the program for the past two years to the support of the community, including several local churches and businesses.
“The support has just been wonderful for this program,” Odom said.
There are many ways that residents can get involved in helping with the Bundles of Love program, Odom said. Those interested in purchasing items for the bags can drop off the items at the TLC Community Center, located at 145 Judge Don Lewis Blvd. in Suites 5-7, or at Big John’s Closeouts, located at 238 E. Elk Ave. Odom said the Center will also accept financial donations to the support the program. “They can also do gift cards from Walmart or other places that we can purchase the items,” Odom said. “The biggest thing is just encouraging people to give to help children in our local community.”
To find out more information on Bundles of Love or other programs from the TLC Community Center, to make a donation or to refer a child, please contact Angie Odom at 423-895-8601.

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