TLC delivers Bundles of Love to Carter County schools

The sun had not even fully risen from the horizon when the school buses arrived Monday morning, but volunteers were already out at the TLC Community center, stuffing bags of food and hygiene items into the two buses so they could go out to Carter County elementary schools.

Director Angie Odom said this was the first time they got to use actual buses instead of their own vans to deliver the bags.

Even with the extra space, they almost filled one bus completely.

“Imagine what you see going with minivans,” Odom said. “It would take so much more time.”

The culmination of the center’s Bundles of Love project, she said roughly 575 bags of items went out to half a dozen different elementary schools, including Little Milligan, Unaka, Hampton and more.

The center collected roughly 1,000 Bundles last month, and roughly half of them have already gone out to different areas of the community. This is where the rest of them went.

Odom said she was so excited she could hardly sleep the night before.

“I wish we could do this for every child,” she said. “We are deliverers, but God supplied.”

She said the turnout for this year’s Bundles of Love project has been encouraging, and it has highlighted the need to keep bringing in more community support in the future.

Odom has been giving out Bundles at the schools for a while, but being able to use the buses represents a new level of cooperation between the center and the schools.

“We both understand each other,” she said. “In our 20 years, they have seen we truly do care about the kids in our community. They know they can call on us.”

She said this level of support helps extend their reach as an organization.

“We can help more people,” she said. “It is so much fun.”

With this year’s success visible, Odom said many of the items in the Bundles, including hygiene items, are needed year-round and not just during the holidays.

“These are things some of us take for granted,” Odom said.

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