Needy Kids reorganizing


A familiar Greenfield fundraiser didn’t happen this year, but that is not because the organizers of the charity that helps children in need are stopping what has been done for about four decades.

Instead, the charity is only reorganizing so it can do what it has done all this time better.

The Needy Kids Radiothon typically happens right around Thanksgiving, but this year the annual fundraising event sponsored by the Greenfield Rotary Club and FM 97.5 WVNU that supports the Needy Kids charity did not happen.

“We just cancelled the Radiothon,” said Greenfield Rotarian and Needy Kids organizer Barb Barton. But she said the charity is still taking donations and still serving area children.

She said that she and the other organizers want to move forward with “a different plan, a new strategy for 2017.” Next year will be the charity’s 40th radiothon fundraiser, she said.

Barton said previously that when Needy Kids first started nearly four decades ago, it was to give children in need a brighter Christmas. Up until last year, providing a brighter Christmas has been what the charity did.

But Barton said that through the years a lot of organizations and programs have materialized that serve that purpose of providing Christmas for needy children. So the Needy Kids organizers have turned the focus to helping children in need throughout the year.

If a child needs shoes, a winter coat, school supplies, Needy Kids can help, she said. If a child wants to play a sport but the family cannot afford to purchase the required attire, Needy Kids can help.

“Whatever the need is, we want to be able to fulfill that,” Barton said. And that, she said, is the new focus going forward. But she said that Needy Kids will still “be there” at Christmas time, too.

Children in need have been brought to the charity’s attention typically through school districts, Barton said, but organizers want to be able to help children of all ages, not just school-aged children. So the charity aims to branch out beyond the schools.

That is one of the reasons, she said, for Needy Kids reorganizing its efforts, so that the charity can better focus on meeting the year-round needs of all children in need in the area.

The annual radiothon is the primary fundraiser for Needy Kids, and, through the generous donations from the community, typically brings in an average of $12,000 per year. Since Needy Kids began, more than $300,000 has been donated to the effort by the community, Barton said. And the money is always spent locally.

“Every penny,” she said.

Those interested in giving to Needy Kids can still do so by dropping off donations anytime at local Greenfield banks, which include Fifth Third, Southern Hills Community Bank, Community Savings Bank and both the Merchants National Bank locations. Donations can also be mailed to Needy Kids, P.O. Box 329, Greenfield, Ohio 45123.

Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.

Greenfield Rotarian Charlie Stevens (left) and WVNU’s Nelson Hunter (right) are shown during a previous radiothon at Merchants bank in Greenfield. Rotarian Charlie Stevens (left) and WVNU’s Nelson Hunter (right) are shown during a previous radiothon at Merchants bank in Greenfield.
40-year-old charity is still helping kids

By Angela Shepherd

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