Gifts For Kids distribution (copy)

Miller Industries employees help fill bags of stuffed animals during the Gifts For Kids 2019 Christmas distribution. The ongoing “Christmas in July” aims to benefit and raise awareness of Gifts for Kids and the nonprofits year-round efforts to help Greene County’s children and their families.

Gifts for Kids continues “Christmas in July” events to benefit the nonprofit, which helps children and families throughout Greene County, the agency said in a news release.

This month has been proclaimed “Christmas in July Month” recognizing Gifts for Kids by city and county leaders.

Christmas in July activities are being supported by several local businesses including all Marathon Quick Stop Markets, Ollie’s, Downtown’s Hot Dog Man (John Price), Pizza Inn, Captain Ds, the YMCA and local KVAT/ Food City grocery stores. Each location is displaying posters signifying their collecting monetary donations, purchased unwrapped toys, snacks, toiletries, etc.

During July, Gifts for Kids is hosting a booth each Saturday morning at the Depot Street Farmers Market featuring a “Toy Grab Bag Sale” at which the nonprofit says families can buy assorted clean, recycled gifts. The booth also has information on how to support and volunteer with the nonprofit.

Gifts for Kids’ Christmas in July events aim to renew awareness of not only its annual Christmas gift distribution, which have taken place for 35 years, but its activities throughout the year to make a difference.

For the past four years, the agency has provided school-appropriate jeans and clothing for elementary children and the last seven years has provided warm clothing for all ages before and during the winter weather so students are ready to learn as they enter their school, not dreading the outside elements.

The nonprofit has also partnered with other agencies and businesses to meet the needs of local students and their families, according to the news release. That has included providing personal care and hygiene items, laundry and cleaning supplies, snacks and more. It’s latest effort is the placement of “blessing boxes” to allow people to share or receive items. A similar box will be placed at its headquarters for books.

It has also provided bicycles to reward Greeneville City Schools elementary and middle school students for achievements in the district’s character program, with Chuckey Elementary School also participating this year.

“We are truly blessed to live and work in a community that supports and invests in children. Greeneville City Schools is so very thankful for the support of so many organizations that choose to stand alongside us to ensure that children have everything they need and deserve to be successful and happy,” said Beverly W. Miller, assistant director of schools for administration/chief technology officer for Greene County Schools.

Gifts for Kids has also provided washers and dryers to some county schools to assist their faculty in meeting laundry needs encountered at the schools, according to the news release.

To aid children and their families at Christmas and throughout the year, the nonprofit also works with other agencies including The Hope Center, the Greeneville/Greene County Boys and Girls Club, the local Samaritan’s Purse Committee and Niswonger Children’s Hospital.

“Gifts for Kids is an amazing ministry for kids from Greene County and throughout the Appalachian Highlands,” said Jack Simpson, president of the Ballad Health Foundation. “Children learn and heal through play and the toys and bicycles provided by Jancie Painter and her team of volunteers are invaluable to the children of our region. Niswonger Children’s Hospital is grateful to have received toys from Gifts for Kids and will be sure that they support healing for our patients. Thank you to everyone involved in this great wwork!”

Gifts for Kids state in its news release, “Even though we all have been impacted by COVID-19, the season of giving by Gifts for Kids is ongoing in so many ways. Now, we could use your help as we endeavor to replenish our inventory ensuring Santa that his sack will be full in time for Christmas. Please watch our Facebook page for announcements regarding registration start and stop dates and contact information to volunteer your time and talents.”

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