Chilly temperatures and the coronavirus pandemic couldn’t stop two Middletown organizations from spreading some holiday cheer.
Volunteers from Feed the Hungry Project and BB Rents, a property management company, passed out more than 1,000 toys and 170 bicycles to families Sunday afternoon during the 14th annual Louella Thompson’s Feed the Hungry Toy Giveaway, said Jordan Lee Kavanaugh, director of administration.
The event has been outside the last two years due to COVID health concerns, she said.
Families drove through the parking lot of the Middletown Transit System and received their gifts from elves. Kavanaugh said the program assisted 300 families and about 1,000 children. A raffle was held for the 170 bikes that were donated by BB Rents, she said.
Kavanaugh said families started registering through the Middletown City Schools District and local churches in October and volunteers spent several weeks soliciting for donations and wrapping toys.
“It was amazing to see all the smiles on the faces of the kids,” Kavanaugh said. “It was awesome.”
She said families that couldn’t pick up their gifts Sunday can stop by from 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday at the Dream Center, 834 Yankee Road.
BB Rents has provided the bikes for three years, Missy McCall said.
McCall said she remembers receiving gifts every Christmas as a child and she hopes those who received toys and bikes this year become “the next generation of givers.”
Thompson founded the Feed the Hungry Project in 1987 and 10 years later opened the Dream Center. She died on Jan 25, 2005. She was 79.
14TH ANNUAL LOUELLA THOMPSON’S FEED THE HUNGRY TOY GIVEAWAY
Volunteers; Middletown High School PRIDE After School Program, community members and Dream Center staff.
Sponsors: BB Rents, Hightower Petroleum, WalMart, Meijer, Coldmill Maintenance, Cleveland Cliffs, Optimist Club, Middletown Division of Police Department, United Missionary Baptist Church, First United Methodist Church, Crossroads Church, Solid Rock Church and community members.
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