Christmas needs

Manna From Heaven, Harley-Davidson hold toy ride

Santa’s elves were busy recently collecting toys for Blount County underprivileged youngsters.

Manna from Heaven Food Bag program and Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson Buell held a Christmas toy ride for needy children in Blount County on July 18 at the dealership on West Lamar Alexander Parkway. Dixie Iron Riders motorcycle riding organization led the ride that left at 5 p.m. and returned riders to the venue for a concert at the Shed.

“It went very well,” said Manna From Heaven founder Stephanie Stieler. “We had 160 toys and about $1,000 in donations, with about 60 riders.”

Stieler said this is the second year for the toy drive. “We started early this year because we have so many more families we serve,” she said. “We’re meeting with other agencies to see how we are going to meet the needs for Christmas.”

Stieler said more toys and games are needed for the upcoming Christmas season. Businesses and individuals can drop items at the office at 224 Ellis Ave., Maryville.

“We fell short, and we still need 780 toys,” she said. “People can drop off toys, board games, $5 McDonald’s gift cards, footballs, dolls and toy cars. That is what we’re going to be doing between now and the 11th of December.”

For more information, call Manna From Heaven at 865-983-8023 or 865-599-2243.

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