Messenger Staff Reporter
It was hard to tell who was having more fun Sunday afternoon — the children being treated to new clothing or the volunteer shoppers.
They were all grinning from ear to ear as they dashed from rack to rack to select warm winter clothing during Chimes for Charity’s annual children’s shopping tour.
The shopping tour, held at Walmart Supercenter in Union City, provided clothing — complete from undergarments and shoes to school clothes and coats — for about 170 less fortunate children from across Obion County. The children were assisted by volunteers from the sponsoring Jaycees and J’Cettes, as well as a host of volunteers who have become vital to Chimes’ success in the community.
Veteran volunteer shopper Debi Adcock, who estimates she has participated in the Chimes event for at least 30 years, said it’s a blessing to be involved in such a worthwhile effort to help children in need.
“It’s a blessing to me. As blessed as I have been, I want to give back something,” she said.
Carla Alexander, a volunteer for the past three years, turned the shopping tour into a family event, allowing her children to join her in helping shop for a child in need.
“It shows the kids that no matter how bad you think you have it, someone else is worse off than you,” she said.
The shopping tour also afforded Mrs. Alexander the joy of being able to shop with a little girl; she is the mother of four boys.
“Just to see the smiles on their faces,” she said when asked about her motivation for volunteering Sunday afternoon.
First-year shopper Reba Smyth said she helped pack food baskets with Chimes for Charity last year and decided to volunteer for the shopping tour this year.
“We’re having a blast,” she said as she helped a child choose clothing.
Tammy Snead, a first-year shopper who works with pre-kindergarten students at Lake Road School, was accompanied by her daughter, Savannah. She also decided to turn the volunteer opportunity into a family event.
“We’re having a great time,” Mrs. Snead said.
First-time shopper Tina Boaz said she heard about the shopping tour at her church, New Bethel Baptist Church, and decided to become involved. She said the church’s youth, in particular, were involved in the effort and she thought it sounded like a good project.
“I’m having a good time,” she said.In addition to the children’s shopping tour, Chimes events this year include a Head Start shopping tour and a junior high shopping tour. All together, 355 less fortunate children from across the county will receive clothing courtesy of Chimes for Charity, with the total spent on children alone for clothing and toys estimated at $41,000 this year, according to Chimes 2008 co-chairmen Clint Wilson and Catherine Nailling.
The remaining portion of Chimes’ $45,000 goal will help provide items for food baskets to be delivered Christmas Eve morning to families and individuals in need throughout the county. Many volunteers from the community will also be needed to help sort items for the food baskets Dec. 22 starting at 1 p.m. at the Obion County Bus Garage in Troy and to help pack baskets Dec. 23 beginning at 2 p.m. at the bus garage, as well as to help deliver baskets early Christmas Eve morning. Anyone who would like to help with delivery may call the Chimes office at 885-2098 for more information.
Chimes — in its 74th year of helping less fortunate families and individuals across Obion County — depends on contributions from individuals, churches, organizations, school groups and businesses across the county to meet its goal. Many fund raisers have been scheduled, but Chimes receives a major boost each year from its radio/TV telethon, scheduled this year for Dec. 8-11 at Second Baptist Church on Everett Boulevard in Union City. It will be broadcast live from 6-7:30 nightly on AM radio station WENK-1240 and local television station WOBT, with listeners and viewers asked to phone in pledges as they enjoy entertainment.
Another significant fund raiser for Chimes is Santa’s Village, which provides many of the canned goods and non-perishable food items for the food baskets to be delivered on Christmas Eve. This year, Chimes will benefit from the effort Dec. 12 from 6-9 p.m. at the University of Tennessee at Martin’s Ag Pavilion, during which time volunteers may work on behalf of the Jaycees and J’Cettes. The more workers present, the more Chimes will benefit, according to Wilson and Ms. Nailling.
Local residents who wish to donate toys to Chimes for Charity may drop them off at one of several locations in Union City. They include Van Heusen at VF Factory Outlet, First Citizens Financial Plus, Union City Housing Authority’s Community Center, the Obion County Public Library, Advanced Gastroenterology/Dr. Kofi Nuako’s office and Celebrations by Sheila.
Monetary donations to Chimes for Charity may be mailed to P.O. Box 661, Union City, TN 38281.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 11.24.08