Harmony Principal Kevin Sullins prepares to receive donations for Kids Loving Kids. (Photo courtesy Regina Maske)
CULLMAN COUNTY – “Kids Loving Kids” (KLK) a charity program that gives young people the opportunity to help out peers in need, has needs of its own this Christmas season. With plans to assist 500 families in Cullman, Walker and Winston Counties this year, the program has found itself way behind on donations. In spite of high numbers of students from low-income homes, several county schools have decided to take part and help out. Harmony, Holly Pond High, Vinemont Middle, Vinemont High and the Cullman Area Technology Academy (Career Center) are all collection points for the ministry.
Harmony Principal Kevin Sullins said, “They may not have much, but they have a heart to give what they do have.”
KLK representative Gina Maske responded, “See, this story is especially impressive since 70 percent of students at Harmony are below the poverty level! Yes, and they too want to give love back! An entire school! And these kids have heart-breaking stories themselves, but love isn’t stopping them!”
In a message to The Tribune, Maske wrote that “KLK is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that encourages kids and teens to love and give back to others in need. If we train kids to love by giving at an early age, bullying, suicide, racism and other negative factors in our country will disappear. Love is the Foundation and Giving is an Action of Love! Last year, KLK served over 500 families in the three counties. The needs for this year are even greater so Harmony kids said Yes to Bridging the Gap of Love for those in need!
“The KLK Collection Drive is nearing a crucial holiday deadline for clothes and toy donations, with many of its collection boxes empty with less than two weeks to go.
“Pam Dodd of Arley, the founder of the 501(c)(3) non-profit charity, encourages the community to give items, including new underwear and socks, so children in Cullman county can have a brighter Christmas.”
What Kids Loving Kids does
According to Maske, “Our focus is to teach kids and teenagers how to love one another by donating at the Christmas season, going through their own personal items that they have at home. KLK started in 2010 and the drive itself started in 2011 with only three volunteers who served around 30 families. About 500 children were served in Cullman, Winston and Walker counties by the charity last year. That number alone has us nervous as we have been finding that boxes are mostly empty. They need to be filled by Dec. 12th in order for volunteers to organize the events. We really need the community’s help not only in donations but also as volunteers.”
KLK is seeking volunteers to meet at Ole Time Way Baptist Church at 1530 Alabama Highway 157 in Cullman to process items from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Dec. 13-14. Items will be distributed at the church on Saturday, Dec. 15, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and volunteers will be needed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for that event. Ole Time Way Baptist Church will be serving lunch to families and will also have a puppet show for children.
Maske explained about another KLK event: “A separate Kids Loving Kids event is also held in Walker County. Pam (Dodd), who with her husband, Bobby, runs Bobby and Pam Dodd Ministries, understands the financial needs at Christmas and the need for the charity as she grew up in a single-parent family. She understands that parents sometime have to make the difficult decision to spend money needed for bills to purchase gifts for their children at Christmas. That is why this organization was started, so parents do not have to make these difficult decisions during the Christmas season. There are people that want to help.
“The no. 1 items requested by children and by teenagers are underwear, and socks, which we ask are purchased as new in all sizes for children and teenagers. Kids and teens love snuggle blankets because a lot of these children are from single-parent homes where the mom, dad or whoever they live with have to be at work and these snuggle blankets really comfort them.
“Besides the underwear and socks, other clothing can be slightly used from children’s closets as well as adult closets, as we do serve newborn to 18 years of age. We ask that this clothing be laundered and make sure the clothing is not stained. Volunteers will also check clothing before offering to families.”
You can help
Items accepted include new or slightly used shoes, toys, electronics, art supplies, books, puzzles, journals, board games, sports, fishing and hunting equipment, coats, pajamas, hats/caps, gloves, personal care items, gift cards, clothing, blow dryers, hair care products, nail polish and make-up.
KLK donation boxes are located at:
- Harmony School
- Cullman Area Technology Academy/Career Center
- Holly Pond High School
- Vinemont Middle School
- Vinemont High School
- Dollar General Vinemont
- Dollar General West Point
- Dollar General Eva Road beside Texaco
- Dollar General Hwy 278 Cullman
- Dollar General First Ave. SW, downtown Cullman
- Dollar General Dodge City
- Dollar General Cold Springs Warehouse Discount Groceries Hwy 157
- Dollar General Crane Hill
- Dollar General Berlin
- Dollar General Walter
- Alfa in Cullman
- Alfa in West Point
- Weichert Realtors Carter & Company
- Legacy Salon
- Planet Fitness
- Eva Bank in Eva
- Jacks Foodland in Eva
- Quality Drugs in Eva
- Hamby’s Chapel Daycare/Church in Vinemont
- Walkers Brothers in Baileyton
- Woodland Nursing Home
- Wayne Door Company
- Dodge dealership
- Wendy’s Health Store
- Creation Hair Salon
- Ole Time Way Baptist church
- Guitars and More
- Refuge Church of God
Donations left over from the clothing will be given to Curt’s Closet in Cullman.
For more information about KLK, contact Pam Dodd at 256-318-4555 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.facebook.com/KidslovingKids/.
Checks can be written to Kids Loving Kids. Donations may also be made through PayPal at paypal.me/bpdministries or at Kids Loving Kids at Traditions Bank.
For more information about the distribution event at Ole Time Way Baptist Church, contact Dodd or the Cullman coordinator Shelba Edge at 256-339-0135.
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