It was record-setting packing experience as Junior Service League members and volunteers from the community wrapped up packing all the goodies for Toys for Blount County recipients in one day.
Traditionally it takes two day to package toys and gifts for the recipients of Toys for Blount County. The packages are then delivered along with food from the Daily Times Empty Pantry Fund to needy families. Those individuals contacted JSL members during an October clearing house at United Way of Blount County.
JSL president Whitney Cox said 1,400 Blount County families were assisted. Their packing event was scheduled for Monday, Dec. 15, and Tuesday, Dec. 16, at the National Guard Armory on West Lamar Alexander Parkway, she said.
“It was supposed to happen on Monday and Tuesday, and we got it done on Monday in record time. It was the fastest and best it’s ever happened,” Cox said. “We had more community members Monday morning and throughout the day than I’ve ever seen, and it got done quickly.”
On Tuesday JSL members cleaned and took things to storage. “Laura Marsh and Amanda Stone are our chairs for Toys for Blount County, and they did fantastic,” Cox said. “It was great.”
Robin Spears and Jessica Wallace will be the chairs for Toys for Blount County for 2009.
Whitney thanked the many community members who volunteered on Monday. “We had a group of women who work at Alcoa, Inc., who helped. We always have Personal Computer Services employees, and (the owners) Ed and Carol Waldroop let them off for the day to help pack. They bring boxes and help unload the truck. They stayed the whole day,” Cox said.
Cox said the packing day is the ultimate combination of everything JSL members work for all year. “Everything we’ve fundraised for and all the events we’ve hosted -- it all comes to a real meaning as we walk around the armory and packing those boxes. It is the most humbling experience I’ve ever had,” Cox said. “To stop and think about the kids and families we are able to help out in the holiday season, it makes you feel fantastic.”