Teamsters donate food, toys to children’s home

Just before noon on Saturday, 20 members of Teamsters Local 175, carried boxes of food and toys out of a large truck into the Davis Child Center on Greenbrier Street in Charleston, run by the Children’s Home Society.

Ken Hall, president of Local 175, based in South Charleston, said more than $20,000 worth of toys and food were delivered this year, beating last year’s record-setting $17,000. The local union has been raising money and making donations to the Child Center for the past 14 years.

Mary White, chief operating officer of the Davis Center, said, “This is a lot more than we’ve ever had before. Our volunteers will soon divide everything up according to the needs of individual families, including the toys that some kids asked for.”

Gifts ranged from Barbie dolls to remote-controlled cars and train sets. Stuffed animals and doll-houses stood out in the huge piles of gifts at the center.

The Children’s Home Society provides emergency youth shelters and helps children get needed foster care and adoptions.

The charitable group operates facilities and emergency shelters for underprivileged children and families, throughout West Virginia. “We want to shout out a big ‘Thank You’ to Teamsters Local 175. We couldn’t reach nearly as many families without their help,” said Scott Foley, regional manager for the Children’s Home Society. “Every year, it gets bigger and better. It means everything to us.”

Foley said the Davis Center works primarily with needy people in Kanawha County, but also helps people in many other areas, including Putnam, Mingo and Logan counties.

Working and retired members of Local 175 used donations they collected to buy food at Save-A-Lot in Charleston and purchase toys at Big Lots in Kanawha City. Both stores have participated in this charitable event for several years.

Donations also came from law firms and vendors who do business with the Teamsters Local 175 in Charleston, New York City and Washington, D.C. YRC Freight, whose workers are Teamster members, donated the use of a truck to deliver food and toys to the Davis Child Center.

Hall, also General Secretary-Treasurer for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, said, “Our members, who work under Teamster contracts, know that they are better compensated than most West Virginians and are eager to give back for such a great cause.

“It’s a goal every year to surpass the previous year’s total. I’m proud that we have been able to build on this event every year. I remember in 2008 when the donations ranged at about $10,000 and now we are over $20,000.”

A wide variety of foods in jars, cans and other packages lined the hallways and filled the rooms inside the Davis Center, including: spaghetti and meatballs, chicken and dumplings, shrimp-flavored and beef-flavored ramen, roasted turkey gravy and a wide variety of vegetables and fruits including pineapples and pumpkins.

White said, “This good food here will help feed kids while schools are out. It will also give their families some good things to eat.”

More information about the Children’s Home Society of West Virginia is available on its website: www.childhswv.org.

Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjnyden@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.

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